On January 17, late at night, the Hazratganj Police in Lucknow has filed an FIR against Ali Abbas Jafar and Gaurav Solanki, the makers of the web series Tandav, for allegedly using derogatory language against Hindu Gods that can lead to religious disharmony. The FIR was lodged by senior sub-inspector Amarnath Yadav. Amazon Prime’s India head of original content, Aparna Purohit, producer Himanshu Krishna Mehra and others have been named in the FIR. Notably, the Information and Broadcasting ministry has summoned the makers over the alleged Hinduphobic content.
Amazon Prime Video officials in India summoned by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, in connection with the controversy around web series ‘Tandav’— ANI (@ANI) January 17, 2021
Somen Barma, Deputy Commissioner of Police, central zone, said that a police team would leave for Mumbai on Monday morning to investigate and interrogate those who have been named in the FIR. Those who have been named in the FIR are booked under:
- Section 153-A (vilification or attacks upon the religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc. of any particular group or class or upon the founders and prophets of a religion)
- Section 295 (destruction, damage, or defilement of a place of worship or an object held sacred, with intent to insult the religion of a class of persons, punishable with imprisonment which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both),
- Section 505(1)(b) (intent to cause or likely to cause fear or alarm among the public, or any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the state or against the public tranquillity),
- Section 505(2) (offence in any place of worship or in any assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship or religious ceremonies), and 469 (Forgery for the purpose of harming reputation) of Indian Penal Code)
- Section 66, 66F and 67 of the IT Act.
The FIR says that during surveillance of social media platform Twitter, it was found that there were angry outbursts against the content of the web series Tandav that was released on January 16. People were found sharing clippings of the web series. The senior officials instructed them to check the web series. It was found that at the 17th minute of the first episode, characters playing Hindu Gods and Goddesses were seen using abusive, derogatory language that is hurtful to the sentiments of a community.
The FIR further said, “Similarly, in the 22nd minute of the same episode, efforts have been made to ignite caste clashes. The person holding a dignified post like that of prime minister has been shown in a very derogatory manner throughout the web series.”
Yadav further added that there are scenes that depict differences based on caste and derogatory language against the women. The web series attempts to harm the religious, social and administrative fabric of the country and spread obscenity.
Case registered under serious sections
Shalabh Mani Tripathi, Information Consultant CMO UP, said in a tweet that serious cases had been registered against the entire team of Tandav, and they will be arrested soon.
जन भावनाओं के साथ खिलवाड़ बर्दाश्त नहीं, घटिया वेब सीरीज की आड़ मं नफरत फैलाने वाली वेब सीरीज तांडव की पूरी टीम के खिलाफ योगीजी के उत्तर प्रदेश में गंभीर धाराओं में मामला दर्ज, जल्द गिरफ्तारी की तैयारी !! pic.twitter.com/V9ZewGNOHw— Shalabh Mani Tripathi (@shalabhmani) January 18, 2021
BJP leader Ram Kadam has also filed a complaint against the series.