The controversies linked with the recent web series Tandav have again stirred up objections to the constant attempts by OTT platforms to allow Hinduphobic content. An FIR with serious charges has been filed against the makers of ‘Tandav’ in Uttar Pradesh for using derogatory comments on Hindu Gods and Goddesses. an email by Amit Malviya, National Head – Information & Technology, BJP, from September has emerged, adding fuel to the fire.
MASSIVE NEWS BROKEN— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) January 18, 2021
BJP’s @amitmalviya on Sept 8th 2020 , emailed AMAZON INDIA HEAD Amit Aggarwal & complained with proof-how certain content was being pushed perhaps with a political motive & how political views probably dictating professional calls 👇!! #TandavBan pic.twitter.com/FSq30mg6ch
In an email written by Malviya to Amit Agarwal, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of Amazon India, in September 2020, it was alleged that certain officials in Amazon India’s office are allowing politically biased content on the platform. Malviya said that content that is biased in nature seems to have more to do with professionals in charge of commissioning content on the platform.
He said, “I understand that creative liberties and artistic freedom are important when it comes to expressions across mediums, but there is a discernible trend in the kind of content that is being pushed on Amazon Prime. While one would like to think of it as creative pursuits but a considered view prompts us to believe that it may have more to do with professionals incharge of commissioning content on the platform.”
Mentioning a September 8, 2020 report by OpIndia on Aparna Purohit, the creative head at Amazon Prime Video, India, Malviya said, “It is quite disconcerting that a global platform like Amazon Prime would allow its ideologically motivated employees to run such vicious programming, which is not just unidimensional but also bruises sensibilities of millions of Indians.”
The report by OpIndia had detailed the political and ideological bias displayed by Aparna Purohit through her social media posts. In one of the most bizarre Facebook posts, Purohit had promoted the rabid anti-India hatred of known Naxal sympathiser Arundhati Roy. Opposing the historical Citizenship Amendment Act, a law that guarantees Indian citizenship to the persecuted minorities from three neighbouring Islamic countries, Purohit had claimed that India would ‘cease to exist’ if they accepted a law that was legitimately passed by the parliament.
There are several scenes in the web series Tandav that are causing outrage on social media. In one scene, actor Zeeshan Ayyub had mocked Lord Shiva, while in the other scene, there were casteist slurs. As a whole, the series allegedly has the potential to cause religious disharmony in the country, as per the FIR registered by UP police. Several complaints have been filed against the series, including one by BJP’s Ram Kadam and another by BJP’s Kapil Mishra. I&B ministry have also summoned makers of the series in connection to the controversial scenes.