The Amazon Prime Video series Tandav has received backlash for some scenes that were allegedly offensive to certain communities.

Tandav series is a political drama that focused on the farmer’s protest and also about the journey of a student leader. Many viewers felt that the student leader character was based on Kanhaiya Kumar. One scene that received the most amount of criticism was a scene that appeared in the first episode of Tandav. The scene features Zeeshan Ayyub who plays Lord Shiva in a play and says, “Azaadi, what the…?” Later, the narrator on stage tells Lord Shiva that he needs to do something to increase his popularity on social media as Lord Ram’s popularity is taking over. Shiva asks whether he should come up with a new display picture to become more popular.

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Manoj Kotak wrote to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar demanding a ban on the Amazon Prime Video series, Tandav, for hurting religious sentiments. “Different organisations and individuals have complained that Hindu Gods and Goddesses have been ridiculed in Tandav web series. Comments have been passed about them,” Kotak said.

MLA Ram Kadam in Maharashtra in his tweet said that he wants the scene to be removed from the series and wants actor Zeeshan Ayyub to apologize for the scene. Tandava will be boycotted until necessary changes are made. #BanTandavNow,” he had tweeted.

He also tweeted saying:

BJP leader Kapil Mishra stated that Tandav is “anti Dalit and full of communal hatred against Hindus”.  Former UP chief minister, Mayawati also demanded the same on her twitter post.

Lucknow deputy commissioner of police (Central) Somen Barma said, “The FIR [lodged at the Hazratganj police station on Sunday] has been lodged against Aparna Purohit, an official of Amazon, series director Ali Abbas Zafar, producer Himashu Krishna Mehra, its writer Gaurav Solanki, and others.”

Ali Abbas Zafar gave a statement on social media post on Monday, on behalf of the cast and crew. He said, “Our sincere apologies. We have been closely monitoring viewer reactions to the web series Tandav and today during a discussion, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has informed us regarding a large number of grievances and petitions received on various facets of the web series with serious concerns and apprehensions regarding its content hurting the sentiments of the people”.

He further added, “The web series Tandav is a work of fiction and any resemblance to acts and persons and events is purely coincidental. The cast and crew did not have any intention to offend the sentiments of any individual, caste, community, race, religion or religious beliefs or insult or outrage any institution, political party or person, living or dead. The cast and crew of Tandav take cognizance of the concerns expressed by the people and unconditionally apologize if it has unintentionally hurt anybody’s sentiments.”

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