The Allahabad High Court on Monday ordered Amazon Prime Video’s content head for India, Aparna Purohit, to present herself for questioning at Lucknow’s Hazratganj police station over a police complaint for the web series Tandav, LiveLaw reported. The interrogation, which happened on Tuesday per the Hindi language newspaper Hindustan, follows police complaints from people supposedly offended by Tandav’s satirical portrayal of a student staging a play where he portrays Hindu god Shiva discussing his social media presence.
That scene was used as a justification for several FIRs across the country, which have rattled Amazon enough to postpone the release of the second season of Family Man, another original show produced by the company. We have reached out to Amazon for comment.
This drumbeat of disingenuous hostility towards content on streaming services — which also dabbled with feigning outrage at a kiss scene with a temple in the background in Netflix’s A Suitable Boy — comes as the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting presses streaming services to come up with stringent self-regulation systems. The Ministry has told Parliament that regulations to govern streaming platforms are “almost ready”. The Ministry intervened to get supposedly problematic scenes removed from Tandav, but said in response to an RTI that MediaNama filed that it had no records of meetings with Amazon where it facilitated the censorship.