New Delhi: A first information report (FIR) has been registered against the makers of Amazon Prime’s web series Mirzapur for allegedly portraying Uttar Pradesh’s district with the same name in a poor light.
The complainant one Arvind Chaturvedi in his complaint lodged at Mirzapur’s Kotwali (Dehat) police station has also alleged that the show hurts religious sentiments, promotes social enmity, showcases abusive content and presents illicit relationships on the screen.
The FIR has been registered against producers of the show, Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar and Bhaumik Gondaliya, under Sections 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code in addition to various sections under the Information Technology (IT) Act.
“Arvind Chaturvedi alleged that the web series has showed abusive content and illicit relations. Thus, based on the complaint, an FIR has been registered against producers and the platform,” Ajay Kumar, Mirzapur superintendent of police, has been quoted as saying by Indian Express.
Mirzapur, an action crime thriller, revolves around drugs, murders, guns and lawlessness. It showcases mafia dons, local rivalry and crime prevailing in the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh. Season one of the show with nine episodes was released in 2018, and the second season with 10 episodes was released in 2020. The series is primarily shot in Mirzapur, and some shots in Jaunpur, Azamgarh, Ghazipur, Lucknow, Raebareli, Gorakhpur and Varanasi.
Currently, another Amazon Prime’s show Tandav is also received backlash from a few who lodged complaints in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh accusing the show of “insulting Hindu gods and goddesses”. In response, the makers of Tandav has issued an unconditional apology and said any alleged offensive content is purely unintentional, as the show is only a work of fiction.
Another show which has recently hit headlines for allegedly “hurting sentiments” has been Netflix’s A Suitable Boy. A few Hindu fundamentalist groups have described it as promoting ‘love jihad’, apparently referring to a relationship between a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy.
With increasing instances of complaints lodged against over-the-top (OTT) platforms and to censor content produced online, the Central government in November 2020 had issued an order bringing online content providers and news providers under the ambit of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
A gazette notification issued by President Ram Nath Kovind on November 10, 2020, stated that “films and audio-visual programmes made available by online content providers” and “news and current affairs content on online platforms” would be brought under the heading “Ministry of Information and Broadcasting” in the Second Schedule of Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961.