MX Player released the trailer of Prakash Jha’s web series ‘Aashram’ in which Bobby Deol is making his web-debut on 17th August. The trailer revolves around the life of a godman (played by Bobby Deol) who has gained popularity quickly. He promises “moksha” to everyone and asks his followers to get rid of any worldly things that may be binding them to the world like money, property etc. It can be seen in the trailer that his followers join his Ashram after donating all their belongings to him.
In the trailer, it can be seen that the Godman has a hidden bunker in his Ashram, where he keeps young women in jail type structures. The police had found several bodies of young women in the area, and the story seems to progress to show the Godman as a conman. The scenes seem to portray that the Ashram has something to do with the sudden and mysterious disappearances of young women in the area.
Netizens call it a negative portrayal of Hindu faith
Several social media users complained that against the trailer portrays a rather negative picture and is targeted against the Hindu faith. The hashtag #BanAashramWebSeries started to trend on twitter.
Some Twitter users objected to the depiction of the godman performing yagna rituals and other details that assert Hindu faith, and stated that the series is a deliberate attempt to malign and defame Hindu dharma.
The 'baba' has been shown in— Monica Singh (@ms_hjs) August 19, 2020
Sufi attire but speaking hindi and doing yagnas in ashram.
The #Ashram series tailors aimed at maligning the image of #Hindu Sadhus and Saints. #BanAashramWebSeries pic.twitter.com/JqEXHR4q59
Some social media users said that while the government bans movies against Prophet, movies like PK and series like ‘Aashram’ make it to the screens. He further questioned why no one cares about Hindu sentiments?
Where is Constitutional Justice & Equality ?— 🚩 Ramesh Shinde 🇮🇳 (@Ramesh_hjs) August 19, 2020
Govt Bans – Muhammad the Messenger of God
Allows – PK, Ashram .
…Why no care for Majority Hindus sentiments ??#BanAashramWebSeries @_dharam_vir @RitaG74 @VikasSaraswat pic.twitter.com/oyKvmor9yJ
One user stated that while there are several well-known cases of crimes associated with institutions of other faiths, filmmakers only target Hindus because showing crimes committed by so-called religious people of other faiths will be against ‘secularism’.
Let’s make a webseries on Nun rape cases? – That’s against secularism— Prathamesh Mutkure (@Prathamesh_M009) August 19, 2020
How about children raped in Madrasas? – It will hurt sentiments of Muslims
Well how about making yet another Hinduphobic film? – Okay, cool 😎 #BanAashramWebSeries #Ashram
Another said that the disclaimer by MX Player for the web series ‘Aashram’ is ridiculous. He said it has no meaning if the OTT platform is allowing content that defames the culture and Dharma.
User @/ Ishwari_Rajya said that the entertainment industry only focuses on defaming the Hindu religion and Sadhus. She added that Bollywood Hinduphobia wouldn’t stop.
🔱 Bollywoody Hinduphobia won’t stop. The controversy over Mahesh Bhatt’s Sadak-2 was not yet over, that the trailer of @prakashjha27 new series ‘Ashram’ has come out.— 🔅 कृष्णसखा 🔅 (@Ishwari_Rajya) August 19, 2020
🔱 This Web Series Defame again only Hindu Sadhus
✊🏻 We demand to #BanAashramWebSeries @PrakashJavdekar ji pic.twitter.com/CXa5UYtwa7
The recently launched trailer of Sadak-2 was also criticised by many for its negative portrayal of Hindu imagery and belief system. The rage against the trailer got mixed with the anger against the Bhatts for their anti-Hindu statements in the past, and it resulted in Sadak-2 trailer becoming the second-most disliked video on Youtube with more than 18 million dislikes. Netflix has been under fire multiple times for depicting Hindu religion in a bad light with series and movies like Ghoul, Sacred Games, Leila and more.