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Makers of Tandav offer unconditional apology after web series runs into trouble with govt

The makers of web series Tandav, which premiered on Amazon Prime Video on January 15, offered an unconditional apology after their show ran into trouble with the government for allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments. A First-Information-Report has also been filed against the creators of the web series in Lucknow.

The statement, tweeted by Tandav director Ali Abbas Zafar also revealed that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, during a discussion, had informed the creators of a “large number of grievances and petitions received on various facets of the web series with serious concerns and apprehensions regarding its content hurting the sentiments of the people”.

The statement added:

“The web series ‘Tandav’ is a work of fiction and any resemblance to acts and persons and events is purely coincidental. The cast and crew did not have any intention to offend the sentiments of any individual, caste, community, race, religion or religious beliefs or insult or outrage any institution, political party or person, living or dead. The cast and crew of ‘Tandav’ take cognizance of the concerns expressed by the people and unconditionally apologize if it has unintentionally hurt anybody’s sentiments” — apology issued by the makers of web series Tandav

It was earlier reported that the I&B Ministry had summoned and demanded an explanation from Amazon Prime Video for their new political drama web-series Tandav, with some on social media claiming it outrages Hindu sentiments. At issue was a scene in which with two college students playing Hindu deities Shiva and Narada on stage mused over the concept of freedom. In November last year, the government had brought content on digital platforms under the I&B Ministry’s purview.

The controversy around Tandav adds another notch to the high-octane pressure campaign that political outfits have been cranking for months, with trends like #CensorWebSeries and campaigns to suspend series’ release (sometimes successful, like in the case of Zee5’s Godman). Even the armed forces asked the government to restrict content depicting the military. With the government’s evident dissatisfaction with how streaming services are regulating themselves, the developments in the coming year will define just how much freedom streaming services will have to offer as part of the entertainment industry in India.

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