Amazon’s ‘Tandava’ cut scenes after pressure from Hindu nationalists in India

ARPORA, India – Director of a big budget Amazon web series has to bow down Pressure from Hindu nationalists And cut off many scenes, which he deemed abusive, demonstrating a powerful political movement that attempts to reorganize Indian society.

Ali Abbas Zafar, director ofTandava, “ A serious political drama, edits were made in the midst of intensification about the show and called for a boycott.

Hindu nationalists, including members of the Indian Nationalist Party, or BJP, have accused Mr. Zafar of insulting Hindu deities and creating enmity between Hindus and Muslims and between upper castes and lower castes.

Mr. Zafar Said on twitter On Tuesday the show’s cast and crew decided to “implement the changes to address the concerns raised” and since then, several scenes have been exchanged. But on Friday, some critics continued to protest, calling for Mr. Zafar to be jailed.

Amazon Prime officials declined to comment.

The creators of “Tandava” have been caught in the extensive political and social changes in India driven by the Hindu nationalist movement. Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which swept away significant opposition, the movement champions India as a Hindu nation that marginalizes other groups, including its significant Muslim minority.

Pressure has increased in culture. In recent years, Hindu nationalists have criticized Bollywood, the central Indian filmmaking industry, which runs counter to their beliefs.

Among the cuts made in “Tandava” was a scene in which a university student appears on a stage cursing a Hindu god, Lord Shiva. In another scene, who was a fictional prime minister speaks etymologically to a lower caste member.

But on Friday, BJP state legislator Ram Kadam, who filed a criminal complaint against the show’s producers, said the edits were not enough.

“It is a fight against the type of people hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus,” he said. “They should go behind bars.”

At least three criminal complaints have been filed, one of which accuses them of promoting hatred between different religions, a serious crime in India. Already investigators in the state of Uttar Pradesh, one of Mr. Modi’s closest aides, have called Mr. Zafar to talk to him.

But the real reason for the complaints against the “Tandav” may be that the show is a mirror of Indian society and there are some problems on the administration of Mr. Modi. In the opening episode, the show featured students and disgruntled farmers, echoing the events that took place in recent months. (Mr. Zafar has said that the show is a work of fiction.)

“Tandava” is one of several recent productions that have provoked the sentiment of Hindu nationalists. A journalist filed a criminal complaint against the producers of this week.Mirzapur, “Another Amazon web series and the name of a midsize city in northern India. The journalist said the series is Hurting religious and regional sentiments and bringing the city into disrepute.

In recent months, similar pressure has been put on Netflix. Attacks have occurred in many presentations of the platform, including A show that featured a Hindu woman kissing a Muslim man, Against the backdrop of a Hindu temple, which Hindus described as disrespectful to their beliefs. Hindu nationalists have tried to stop interracial marriage, and Recent laws in many states of India have targeted interracial couples..

Gaurav Tiwari, an officer in the youth wing of the BJP, who has filed a complaint against Netflix officials, said the government needs to protect the public from pornographic and anti-Hindu content.

Mr. Tiwari said, “People have been murdered for cartoons in other religions, and see what is happening to us.” “If this continues unabated, what will happen to future generations of Hindus when they see such films?”

Mr. Tiwari called for strict punishment against Netflix and Amazon, including banning him from India for a few years.

Analysts in the entertainment industry said that the restrictive environment meant that many filmmakers were now moving away from topics that used to touch religion or politics.

Ankur Pathak, former entertainment editor of Huffington Post India, said, “This is what this government wants.” “It is very clear that such bullying of streaming platforms is a comprehensive ideological project to erase any kind of ideological or political criticism of the BJP.”

He said, “Internet is the only free medium that exists against the current political regime.” “And it worries them a lot.”

Suhasini Raj reported from Arpora and Jeffrey Getelman from New Delhi.

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