"Have To Pay," Tandav Makers, Saif Ali Khan Warned As Case Filed In UP

The Uttar Pradesh police has filed a case against makers of web series "Tandav" for "promoting enmity on grounds of religion". The FIR also names the head of India Original Content, Amazon.

Highlights

  • Makers of Tandav have been accused of promoting religious enmity
  • UP Chief Minister's media adviser warned makers to "prepare for arrest"
  • Government has reportedly sought a response from Amazon Prime
Lucknow:

Amid initiation of criminal action against Amazon web series "Tandav" for alleged insult to Hindu gods, a key aide of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has issued an open warning to its makers and actors.

"Be prepared to pay the price for hurting religious sentiments... UP Police has left for Mumbai in a vehicle," chief minister's media advisor Shalabh Mani Tripathi tweeted in Hindi tagging its director Ali Abbas Zafar, producer Himanshu Mehra, writer Gaurav Solanki, and actors Saif Ali Khan and Zeeshan Ayub.

The mention of a vehicle was seen as alluding to the controversial encounter of gangster Vikas Dubey by the UP Police last year.

Mr Tripathi also tagged the office of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, saying "... hope you will not come to their rescue".

"There is no tolerance for playing with people's sentiments in Yogi Adityanath's Uttar Pradesh. A serious case has been registered against the entire team of Tandav, which is spreading hate in the guise of cheap web series. Be prepared for arrest," Mr Tripathi had tweeted earlier in the day sharing a copy of the FIR filed this morning in Lucknow.

The makers of the Saif Ali Khan-Dimple Kapadia starrer "Tandav" and Amazon's head of India Original Content have been accused in a case of promoting religious enmity and defiling a place of worship.

A complaint has been filed at Lucknow's Hazratganj police station by a sub-inspector who is also posted there.

The policeman said he filed the complaint after he alerted senior officers about numerous Twitter comments critical of Tandav's content, and was ordered to watch it.

The complaint states that 17 minutes into the first episode, "people dressed up in a very bad manner to represent Hindu gods and goddesses and have been shown to speak in a very uncalled for language... that hurts religious sentiments".

In the same episode there are "conversations that lead to caste conflict, there are similar scenes in many other episodes. In the web series, the character of the person occupying the high post of India's Prime Minister has been shown in a very indecent manner... The series depicts lower and higher castes and scenes that insult women, and the intent... seems to be to hurt religious feelings of one community and to spread conflict", the complaint reads.

Though Amazon was yet to issue a statement on the row, BJP leaders have started demanding a ban on "Tandav", boycott of Amazon and censorship of content on streaming media platforms saying they are "full of sex, violence, drugs, abuse and hate (and) sometimes also hurt sentiments of Hindus...".

BJP's opponents and allies, both, have questioned the protest.

Bihar ally JD(U)'s principal general secretary KC Tyagi said politicians and officials cannot decide the content of any film. "Amitabh Bachchan and dozens of film actors have been seen on screen challenging Lord Shiva in their films. They have even been saying to Lord Shiva that they have lost faith in him and said, on screen, that they do not believe in him," he added.

In UP, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said the BJP was doing "tandav (dance of destruction) on Tandav" because they want to deflect attention from the farmers' protest around Delhi. "The farmers are being dubbed terrorists and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is summoning them. What is all this?" he said.