Amid a backlash against Amazon Prime's new web series "Tandav", security has been beefed up outside actor Saif Ali Khan's office and Amazon India's head office, police officials said on Monday.
This comes after an FIR was lodged in Lucknow against the Amazon India's head of the content and makers of Tandav on the grounds of allegedly hurting religious sentiments of people and depicting Hindu gods in a ridiculous manner.
To avoid any untoward incident in the wake of the controversy, security was stepped up outside the head office of Amazon Prime Video in BKC, a financial district, and also at the office of Khan in suburban Mumbai, the officials said.
The FIR was filed at the Hazratganj Kotwali police station on Sunday night against the director of the series Ali Abbas, producer Himanshu Krishna Mehra, writer Gaurav Solanki, head of Amazon's India head of original content and one unknown person
The political drama stars Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Sunil Grover, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Dino Morea, Kumud Mishra, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Gauhar Khan and Kritika Kamra. It was premiered on the streaming platform 'Amazon Prime video' on Friday.
Earlier, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry had summoned Amazon Prime Video officials in India in connection with the controversy around the web series.
BJP MP Manoj Kotak has written to I&B minister Prakash Javadekar seeking a ban on the series.
Taking to Twitter, BSP President Mayawati called for removing the objectionable content from the web series.
“Protests are being registered against some scenes hurting the religious and ethnic sentiments in the Tandav web series, in respect of which it would be appropriate to remove whatever is objectionable so that the atmosphere of peace, harmony and mutual brotherhood in the country is not spoiled anywhere,” she said.
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According to the FIR, following public outrage expressed on social media platforms, the web series was viewed and it was found in the 17th minute of the first episode of the series that Hindu gods and goddesses have been presented in an "undignified manner' and shown using language which is hurtful to religious sentiments.
Dialogues in the web series can incite caste anger, the FIR alleged.
It also alleged that the person occupying the high post of Prime Minister of India has been portrayed in a very belittling manner besides there are scenes in which castes have been presented as low and high and women in an insulting manner.
The FIR further alleged that intent of the web series is to incite religious sentiments of a particular community and create enmity among classes. This act of the producer-director has hurt and incited religious and caste sentiments of the people, the FIR added.
Taking cognizance of complaints that Hindu gods and goddesses have been ridiculed in the web series, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had on Sunday sought an explanation from streaming platform Amazon Prime Video on the issue, sources had said.
The move comes after BJP MP Manoj Kotak said he has written to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday for seeking a ban on Amazon Prime Video's web series 'Tandav' over ridiculing Hindu deities.
"The ministry has taken cognizance of the matter (complaints) and asked Amazon Prime Video to explain," a source in the ministry had said.
Kotak, the MP from Mumbai North-East, said different organisations and individuals have complained that Hindu gods and goddesses have been ridiculed in the 'Tandav' web series.
When contacted about the complaints, Amazon Prime Video PR had said the platform "won't be responding" on the matter.
The government recently brought OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar, besides other online news and current affairs content, under the ambit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, giving it powers to regulate policies and rules for the digital space.
With PTI inputs