Coming as a big set back for the makers and actors of the web series Tandav, a single-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court Thursday rejected an anticipatory bail application filed by Aparna Purohit, over a UP Police FIR in Noida against the makers of the web series ‘Tandav’. Aparna Purohit is the head of Amazon India’s creative development team and also the in-charge of the platform’s original web series. She has been accused of hurting religious sentiments by pushing anti-Hindu content and scenes mocking Hindu gods in the web series.
Making strong observations while rejecting Purohit’s anticipatory bail plea, Justice Siddharth said in a 20-page order: “Such People Make The Revered Figures Of Religion Of Majority Community Source Of Earning Money”.
Breaking: #Tandav – Allahabad HC Denies Anticipatory Bail To #AparnaPurohit– Sys “Such People Make The Revered Figures Of Religion Of Majority Community Source Of Earning Money”@PrimeVideo@aparna1502 https://t.co/ej6MzYyIPz— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) February 25, 2021
The judge furthered: “Whenever such crimes are committed by some citizens of the country, like the applicant and her co-accused persons, and it is made the subject matter of demonstration and public protest, the forces inimical to the interest of this country become active and they make it an issue and raise it before different national and international forums alleging that the Indian citizens have become intolerant and ‘India’ has become an unsafe place to live.”
The order further said, “even in the liberal democracies of the West, it becomes a topic of debate and the Indian diplomacy has to face tough time protecting the interest of the country and assuring the international community that the protests made against such acts are stray and genuine and it is not mark of any intolerance in the country as a whole.”
Giving the reference of stand-up ‘comedian’ Munnawar Faruqui who was arrested by the Indore police and sent to judicial custody for passing indecent remarks about Hindu deities and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a show in the city, the judge observed that for such people the revered figures of the Hindus are used as a source of income.
“Western filmmakers have refrained from ridiculing Lord Jesus or the Prophet, but Hindi filmmakers have done this repeatedly and still doing this most unabashedly with Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Things are worsening as is evident from the fact that an obscure stand-up comedian, Munawar Faruqui, from Gujarat made comments on Hindu God and Goddesses in a New Year show at Indore and gained undue publicity on being arrested in a case”.
The judge raised concerns about how this disturbing trend of mocking Hindu deities had passed from films to the comedy shows.
Furthering that the applicant (Aparna Purohit) had not been vigilant and acted irresponsibly making her open to criminal proceedings.
The court also commented on what it called a “growing tendency” on the part of the Hindi film industry to subvert the image of the figures revered by Hindus. “If not curbed in time, it may have disastrous consequences for the Indian social, religious and communal order”, observed the court, worrying about the adverse effect it would have on the younger generations which is not much aware of the social and cultural heritage of this country. It gradually starts believing what is shown in the movies by people like the accused persons in the present movie in dispute”, said Justice Siddharth while rejecting Aparna Purohit’s bail application.
It is important to note that Purohit has protection from arrest in a second, separate case filed by the police in Lucknow, and a different judge in the Allahabad High Court extended that protection till March 9 three days ago.
SC rejects anticipatory bail pleas of ‘Tandav’ makers asks to apply in concerned courts in the states
Last month, the Supreme Court bench, comprising of justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy, and MR Shah had also refused to grant any interim protection to the makers and actors of Tandav against FIRs filed in six different states. While delivering its verdict, the apex court had then stated that the makers have no liberty to hurt anyone’s religious sentiments. It had, however, permitted them to seek bail from concerned courts in the states where FIRs have been filed.