‘Tandava’ controversy: Amazon series faces ban in India

Authorities are claiming that Amazon’s new Prime Video series “Tandav” contains religiously insensitive content. Many Indian politicians say that they have complained to the police or regulators about the company or the makers of the show.

The title is a political drama that has been compared to a hit Netflix ()NFLX) Series “House of Cards.” It was released last Friday on Amazon’s streaming service and features some of Bollywood’s biggest names, including celebrity director Ali Abbas Zafar and actor Saif Ali Khan.

The show follows a power-hungry politician who is ready to do anything to become the country’s prime minister. It is largely based on real political controversies that have spread throughout the country in the form of Hindu nationalism.

However, shows of some Hindu deities have been depicted from local MPs. Manoj Kotak, Member of Parliament from Mumbai, said On Sunday, he wrote a letter to the information and broadcasting minister of the country, requesting him to ban them. [the] Controversial web series. ”

Kotak, who is a member of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said that the makers of the show “deliberately mock Hindu gods.”

CNN Business has requested comment from both Amazon and Zuffer, the director of the series, but has not yet received a response.

But zafar expressed “Sincere Apologies” on Twitter On Monday, posting a Statement From the cast and crew of Tandava.

The statement said, the cast and crew of ‘Tandava’ took cognizance of the concerns expressed by the people and unconditionally apologized for hurting anyone’s feelings.

Steps of officials

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which has announced its intention to begin regulating streaming services, said on Monday that it had reached out to Amazon executives about the show.

“There will be a discussion on this,” a spokesperson told CNN Business.

The series has prompted other MPs to go to the police. Another BJP leader and local MLA in the state of Maharashtra, Ram Kadam, said he filed a police complaint in Mumbai over the weekend, accusing Amazon of “insulting religious sentiments” and “damaging the material”.

Local police confirmed that they had received Kadam’s complaint, but they had not yet started an investigation.

Police on Sunday launched a separate investigation against Zafar in Uttar Pradesh, along with Aparna Purohit, head of Amazon’s flagship Indian original video content, according to a Media Advisor For the Chief Minister of the state.
The series has also been influenced by negative reviews on Amazon, claiming that the show promotes an “Hindu-phobic agenda” or comes across as “anti-Hindu”.

An important market

India is an important market for Amazon. This month, a company executive called the country “one of the world’s most exciting streaming markets right now”.

During the epidemic, the firm “doubled our investment on films over this period”, Gaurav Gandhi, director and general manager of Amazon Prime Video in India, told Deadline in a recent interview.

Original content is the key to a strategy that has more than 80 titles in production or development, Purohit told the outlet.

This is not the first time the Amazon has ventured into hot water in India.

The e-commerce and technology giant has had to pull products from its site that offend customers, such as a doormat featuring an Indian flag, or a skateboard depicting an image of the Hindu god Ganesha. (Critics say that selling such goods Was derogatory, as they lay their feet on reverential or religious symbols. “
The “Tandava” incident also reminds of a recent encounter Netflix ()NFLX) in India. Last year, the streaming giant faced boycott calls in one of its shows in the country during a now infamous kissing scene.

The market, which takes place in the series, “A Suitable Boy,” depicts a young Hindu woman being kissed by a Muslim man on a Hindu temple. The show angered some viewers in India, leading to a police complaint against Netflix executives.

Netflix on Monday declined to comment about the current status of that complaint. A police officer said the investigation into the CNN business was ongoing.

Netflix faces a boycott of calls in India;  A suitable boy & # 39;  kissing scene
The news comes at a sensitive time for streaming services in the country. Last fall, the Indian government announced new rules for digital media, stating that online streaming platforms would be regulated by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

He may force companies like Amazon and Netflix to follow restrictions on traditional media, such as rules about showing violence or nudity.

– CNN’s Vedika Sood contributed to this report.


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