Since its release on Amazon Prime Video, Saif Ali Khan starrer web series ‘Tandav’ has landed itself into a political controversy.
There are two scenes that are at the centre of the controversy. In one, actor Zeeshan Ayyub’s character plays Lord Shiva in a college play. However, he doesn’t don Lord Shiva’s traditional look and speaks about issues plaguing the society. In another scene, actor Sandhya Mridul’s character tells her boyfriend and the father of her child, a Dalit political leader played by actor Anup Soni, that a man from the lower caste always takes advantage when he is involved with a woman from the upper caste.
Several leaders, including members of the ruling party BJP, have demanded the streaming platform to remove the show as it allegedly hurts religious sentiments and ridicules Hindu gods. ‘Tandav’ makers on Monday issued an apology after complaints were registered with Police in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Released on January 15, the web series, apart from Khan, also stars Dimple Kapadia, Sunil Grover, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Dino Morea, Kumud Mishra, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Gauhar Khan, and Kritika Kamra.

Here are the key points of the ‘Tandav’ controversy:

  1. The cast and crew of ‘Tandav’ has taken cognizance of people’s concerns and apologised ‘unconditionally’ if it has “unintentionally hurt anybody’s sentiments,” Director Ali Abbas Zafar issues a statement on Twitter on Monday
  2. Security has been beefed up outside the house and offices of Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan, and outside the head office of Amazon
  3. FIRs have been filed against Amazon Prime Video or the show makers for “allegedly hurting religious sentiments.” Two FIRs has been registered in Uttar Pradesh, according to PTI, while another complaint has been registered in Mumbai by BJP MLA Ram Kadam
  4. An aide of Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanth on Monday warns that makers of web series ‘Tandav’ and Amazon’s India content head will have to “pay a price for hurting religious sentiments” by depicting Hindu gods in an objectionable manner
  5. BJP leader Kapil Mishra has sent a legal notice to Amazon Prime Video, seeking the removal of the ‘Tandav’ show from its platform. 
  6. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, without taking the name of the show or the streaming platform, said, “Nobody has the right to disrespect our gods and goddesses… in my opinion, we need to keep a strict eye on OTT platforms as they are showing vulgar content.”
  7. Earlier, an outrage was sparked and complaints were lodged against Netflix show ‘A Suitable Boy’ for depicting a kissing scene in a temple. 
  8. After ‘Tandav’, now, an FIR has been lodged against producers of web series ‘Mirzapur’ for hurting “religious sentiments” and spoiling the image of the town in Uttar Pradesh.