'Tandav' Makers to Drop 'Controversial' Scenes, Thank I&B Ministry for 'Guidance'

The decision has been arrived at after the representatives of the show and Amazon Prime platform met officials from the Union ministry of information and broadcasting following complaints received from different parts of the country.

New Delhi: The makers of Amazon Prime Show Tandav have decided to drop scenes from the political drama that have allegedly hurt religious sentiments and resulted in numerous first information reports (FIRs) from different parts of the country.

This decision has been arrived at after the representatives of the show and Amazon Prime platform met the Union ministry of information and broadcasting on Tuesday for a second meeting to discuss complaints that the ministry claimed to have received on the show. They thanked the ministry for its “guidance” on the portions of the show that need to be dropped. The first meeting was held on Monday.

The show’s director, Ali Abbas Zafar, who was present for both meetings, tweeted on Tuesday stating they will make appropriate changes in line with concerns raised.

“The cast & crew of Tandav have made the decision to implement the changes to the web series to address the concerns raised towards the same. We thank the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for the guidance & support in the matter. We once again apologise if the series has unintentionally hurt anybody’s sentiments,” he wrote on Twitter.

Also read: FIR Against Makers of Amazon Series ‘Tandav’ for Hurting Religious Sentiments

He reiterated that they “have the utmost respect for the sentiments of the people of India, and they did not intend to hurt or offend sentiments of any individual, caste, community, race, religion or religious beliefs, or insult or outrage any institution, political party or person, living or dead.”

Earlier Zafar and show’s producer Himanshu Mehra had said on Monday that they had been closely monitoring viewer reactions to their web series and were aware of a large number of grievances and petitions on various portions of the show. Mehra had said it is only a “work of fiction” and that they “unconditionally apologise if it has unintentionally hurt anybody’s sentiments”.

On Tuesday, there were several calls from BJP leaders demanding action against Tandav, including from the home minister of Haryana, Anil Vij, who called for the show to be removed from digital platforms. He also urged the Centre to ensure that every web series would go through a censorship process before they hit the screens.

Similarly, Madhya Pradesh home minister, Narottam Mishra, said he will file a case against Tandav. “I condemn the way Zeeshan Ayyub, Saif Ali Khan and Ali Abbas Zafar reacted to our religion and hurt sentiments,” he told PTI.

A third FIR was filed in Uttar Pradesh against the web series, including charges under SC/ST Act and the Information Technology Act, against Zafar, Mehra, Saif Ali Khan, Kapadia, actor Sunil Grover, writer Gaurav Solanki and Amazon Prime’s India head Aparna Purohit.

According to a report in Indian Express, Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad chief Mahant Narendra Giri alleged that “disrespect” caused to Hindu sentiments by the makers of Tandav was “intentional”.

“Only if all the Muslim directors and heroes give a written affidavit to the official of their concerned area saying they will not repeat this mistake, and that they will never show anything objectional about sanatan deities, only then this can be made right,” he was quoted as saying by the Indian Express report.

Tandav, a nine-episode political thriller, began streaming online last week, and stars Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, among others. Ever since its release, it has received backlash from different parts of the country, especially from the Hindu fundamentalist organisations and BJP leaders.