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Templates and hate: takeaways from complaints to the government against Tandav

MediaNama obtained a trove of around 100 complaints that were filed against the series Tandav to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting under the RTI Act. The Internet Freedom Foundation and The Quint first made the complaints public. While the rules themselves were in the making for a long time, the fires fanned by political outfits — dutifully described by mainstream media as "controversies" — around such shows helped set the ground for the regulations. Let's take a look in detail at the complaints. 1. Templates, templates, templates: While the I&B Minister has spoken about complaints on streaming services, he left out a crucial bit: a substantive portion of these complaints are copy-pasted from a template. The most common template, used 22 times, termed Tandav as a "Hinduphobic" show. At least one organization, Maharashtra-based Hope Foundation (not to be confused with this non-profit of the same name), also used this template. Here's a sample: "Anti-hindu": This series is Anti-Hindu whose sole motive is to shame Hindu religion and portray Hindu deities in a wrong way. There is a clip from the show ,where the cast of the webseries plays a stage performer appearing as Lord Shiva and makers have shown the deity in a flippant light,the use of Lord Shiva on-screen has hurt the religious sentiments of HINDU's globally which is totally unacceptable. The template goes on to incorrectly accuse the show of depicting smoking and drug abuse without a disclaimer (none is required online). 2. "Tukde tukde gang": Many…

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

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