TANDAV’S creators announced on Tuesday that they had agreed to cut some scenes from the Amazon Prime web series after a second meeting with the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The producers thanked the ministry for its “guidance” on the issue in a statement announcing the decision.
The I&B Ministry had summoned the producers of the political drama, as well as representatives from Amazon Prime, for a second video-conference meeting after they were asked to clarify their position on Monday in light of the number of complaints the ministry said it had received.
According to reports, the show’s producer, Ali Abbas Zafar, was present for both meetings and tweeted on Tuesday evening that adjustments would be made to “address the concerns raised.” “The cast and crew of Tandav have decided to implement improvements to the web series in order to resolve the concerns raised,” he said. We appreciate the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s assistance and advice in this matter. We apologise once more if the series has inadvertently hurt anyone’s feelings.”
“We have the utmost regard for the feelings of the people of our country,” he said. We had no intention of hurting or offending anyone’s feelings, castes, communities, races, religions, or religious beliefs, or insulting or outraging any organisation, political party, or individual, living or dead.”
He’d made his second joke in as many days. Zafar had said on Monday, alongside producer Himanshu Mehra, that Tandav was “a work of fiction” and that they “unconditionally apologise if it has unintentionally hurt anyone’s sentiments.” “…we have been closely monitoring viewer reactions to the web series Tandav, and today during a discussion, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting told us about a large number of complaints and petitions received on various aspects of the web series, with serious concerns and apprehensions about its content hurting people’s sentiments,” they added.
Tandav is a nine-episode political thriller starring Bollywood A-listers Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub that premiered last week on Netflix.
Several BJP leaders called for action against Tandav on Tuesday, with Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij demanding that the show be taken down from the digital platform and urging the government to make a provision for censoring web series before they are screened, according to PTI. According to a PTI storey, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said that the state would file a case against the Tandav makers, saying, “I condemn the way Zeeshan Ayyub, Saif Ali Khan, and Ali Abbas Zafar reacted to our religion and hurt sentiments.”
A third FIR was filed in Uttar Pradesh against Zafar, producer Mehra, Saif Ali Khan, Kapadia, actor Sunil Grover, writer Gaurav Solanki, and Amazon Prime India head Aparna Purohit, alleging violations of the SC/ST Act and the Information Technology Act.
The cast and crew only apologised after UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath condemned the incident and a police team from the state went to arrest Zafar after a FIR was filed, according to Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad chief Mahant Narendra Giri.
“Only if all the Muslim directors and heroes send a written affidavit to the office of their concerned region saying they will not repeat this error, and that they will never display something objectionable about Sanatan deities, then this can be made right,” Giri requested, rejecting the apology and calling the “disrespect” to Hindu sentiments “intentional.”