Amazon Prime Video is under fire because of their new web-series “Tandav”. In a developing update, BJP leader Ram Kadam said he has planned a “Joote Maaro” Movement against the show’s actors and creators. In an interview, Kadam said, “Since some time, members of the film industry have been participating in the act of insulting the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. We control ourselves every time, but this time, it is hard to control, there will be ‘tandav’. Some of these people of the film industry should be hit with shoes.”

In a recent attack on freedom of speech, Uttar Pradesh police filed a complaint against the creator of the series Ali Abbas Zafar, and the show’s actors Saif Ali Khan, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, writer of the series Gaurav Solanki and Amazon India’s head of content Aparna Purohit. The show faces criminal action over its alleged insulting portrayal of Hindu Gods.  

The case was reportedly filed after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting asked clarification from Amazon Prime on the complaint that was filed by Ram Kadam, a BJP MLA from Maharashtra.  

The Saif Ali Khan-Dimple Kapadia starrer ‘Tandav’’s director, producer and writer along with Amazon’s head of India, Original Content are accused of “promoting religious enmity” and “defiling a place of worship.” The complaint was filed at Lucknow’s Hazratganj station.  

Soon after the registration of the case, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath’s adviser Shalabh Mani Tripathi posted a copy of the report on Twitter. 

Complaint against web series Tandav

According to reports, the complaint states that into the 17 minutes of the first episode, “people dressed up in a very bad manner to represent Hindu gods and goddesses and have been shown to speak in a very uncalled for language… that hurts religious sentiments.” 

The complaint also reads that in the first episode there are “conversations that lead to caste conflict, there are similar scenes in many other episodes. In the web series, the character of the person occupying the high post of India’s Prime Minister has been shown in a very indecent manner… The series depicts lower and higher castes and scenes that insult women, and the intent… seems to be to hurt the religious feelings of one community and to spread conflict.” 

It is not only Yogi’s government that has come up in arms with Tandav’s team. Mahant Paramhans Das, a member of Tapasvi Chhavni has also sought out a complete ban on the web series. Talking to reporters, he said, “The web series insults Lord Ram and Lord Shiva. It insults Hindu religion. I want to ask Muslim clerics how they would have reacted had their religion been targeted. They issue fatwas at every occasion, why are they quiet now?”  

Kapil Mishra, who is a former MLA that is known for taking his oath in Sanskrit, has also sent a notice to Amazon Prime Video. In his notice, Mishra is demanding a complete ban of Tandav from their platform. 

Outspoken film director Vivek Agnihotri too slammed the creators of Tandav on Twitter:  

Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and veteran politician Mayawati tweeted saying the says that the scenes that can potentially cause distress among Indian masses should be deleted 

Due to the political and religious nature of the event, hashtags of #boycotttandavnow and #boycotttandav are trending on Twitter since Monday morning, January 18.

Tandav web series scenes that are creating controversy

Scene 1 Episode 1: In one scene, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub plays the role of Lord Shiva in a play at university. This is a modern avatar of Lord Shiva and Ayyub can be seen wearing a suit with blue ink smeared on his face. 

The character talks about getting lesser followers on social media than Lord Ram and asks his co-actor who’s playing the role of Narad Muni, how he can increase his followers. Narad Muni suggests him to tweet “something sensational” which will get him more followers. 

The scene then goes on to explain how Indian students want freedom from poverty, discrimination, fascism and how they remain unheard.  

Scene 2 Episode 8: Sandhya (Sandhya Mridul) tells the father of her child, and her boyfriend who is a Dalit man, that her ex-husband once told her something she considered bulls***. 

She then goes on to quote Jigar (played by Dino Morea) and says when a woman from the upper case dates a Dalit, it is an act of revenge taken by the Dalit for the discrimination they have suffered over the years. 

‘Tandav’ is a political drama show produced by Amazon Prime Video starring Saif Ali Khan, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sunil Grover, Dimple Kapadia, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub and more. The show opened with lukewarm reviews from critics who slammed the show for being heavy on exposition and for not being subtle or smart.