Amazon Prime Video, the over-the-top streaming and rental service of Amazon.com is in deep trouble over shows it is streaming in India. After multiple FIRs were vregistered against the recent Amazon Prime web series ‘Tandav‘, another web-show aired on the platform ‘Mirzapur’ has come under the scanner.
The Supreme Court has sent a notice and sought responses from the makers of the web series and the OTT platform, on a plea complaining over the portrayal of Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district in a bad light.
Supreme Court issues notice to makers and producers of web series ‘Mirzapur’ and Amazon Prime Video, on a petition complaining about the portrayal of Mirzapur district, UP in a bad light in the web series. SC seeks response from the OTT platform and series makers pic.twitter.com/NW074JKI9b— ANI (@ANI) January 21, 2021
The petition was filed by one Noida-based lawyer SK Kumar, a resident of the Mirzapur district in Uttar Pradesh. Kumar accused the makers of “maligning the image of Uttar Pradesh”. He said that Mirzapur has been depicted “as a den of terror and illegal activities”.
“Mirzapur has rich cultural value, but in 2018 Excel Entertainment has launched a web series named Mirzapur of 9 episodes in which they have shown Mirzapur a city of goons and adulteresses,” said the plea.
The petitioner also raised strong objection to the distasteful portrayal of women in the web series. The series showed a woman hailing from the district having a sexual relationship with the servant and her father-in-law as well. “By showing such ridicules and shameless things on the name of a city/ district is the insult of approximately 30 lakh population and rich culture of Mirzapur,” added the plea.
The show’s first season was launched on Amazon Prime Video on November 16, 2018. The web series depicts the putrescence and rule of mafia dons, and the rivalry and crime prevailing in the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh. Its second season was released in October last year.
The court’s notice came shortly after a first information report (FIR) was registered in Uttar Pradesh against Mirzapur’s producer Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Bhaumik Gondaliya and Amazon Prime Video for allegedly outraging the religious sentiments, and portraying that a specific community had criminal links.
The FIR, lodged at Mirzapur’s Kotwali Dehat police station on Sunday, was filed after a complaint by local journalist Arvind Chaturvedi.
Arvind Chaturvedi had also accused the makers of the web series of hurting his “religious, social and regional sentiments”, adding that it presented the city of Mirzapur in a poor light. Chaturvedi highlighted that the web series shows abusive content as well as incest and illicit relationships.
Controversy erupts over another Amazon Prime web series Tandav
The petition against Mirzapur comes on the heels of scores of FIRs filed against another Amazon prime web series Tandav which again stirred up objections to the constant attempts by OTT platforms to allow Hinduphobic content.
Over the past few days, FIRs have been filed in Uttar Pradesh’s Luckow and Greater Noida, and another one in Mumbai and one in Bihar against the makers of the web series, which includes director Ali Abbas Zafar, writer Gaurav Solanki and Amazon Prime’s Head of India Originals, Aparna Purohit. They have been accused of hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus and spreading caste-based-discrimination.
BJP MP wants action against makers of Mirzapur
Speaking to ANI, BJP Secretary and Lok Sabha MP from Kaushambi in Uttar Pradesh, Vinod Sonkar said that he is happy that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken cognisance of complaints against ‘Tandav’ web series, but also demanded that similar action be taken against the makers of ‘Mirzapur’ for allegedly hurting the sentiments of people belonging to the region.
Web series Mirzapur not new to controversies
This is, however, not the first time Mirzapur web series has been marred with controversies. Even before the second season of the series was launched, a call to boycott the show grew after the lead actors in the web series, Ali Fazal had come out to support the violent anti-CAA protests that had eventually culminated into the horrific anti-Hindu riots in northeast Delhi.