A Muslim filmmaker in India has issued an unconditional apology for “hurting religious sentiments” after an official of the ruling Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) registered a complaint against him with the police, for his movie – Tandav.
Filmmaker of Tandav, Ali Abbas Zafar in a Twitter message stressed that though it was a work of fiction, however, tendered the apology for offending the audiences.
Though the filmmaker was targeted for insulting the Hindu gods, however, the storyline of the web series was in fact about Indian politics and ambitions unfolding behind closed doors and in corridors of power.
“We have been closely monitoring viewer reactions to the web series Tandav and today during a discussion, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has informed us regarding a large number of grievances and petitions received on various facets of the web series with serious concerns and apprehensions regarding its content hurting the sentiments of the people,” read the official statement by the cast and crew of the Amazon Prime show, shared on Twitter by filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar.
In an update, Zafar shared that the makers were “in further engagement with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to resolve the concerns that have been raised”.
“We value your continued patience and support, and should have a solution shortly,” he reiterated.
The reaction of civil society went in favor of Muslim filmmakers, which regarded the criticism as baseless and an effort of BJP to “conceal the chaotic darkest lanes of Indian politics”.
Also, Muslim actor Saif Ali Khan starred in the web series Tandav, which had a disclaimer stressing that it was a work of fiction with any resemblance to acts, persons or events being purely coincidental.
FIR: According to India Today, the FIR has been filed against;
Director Ali Abbas Zafar, Writer Gaurav Solanki, Amazon Prime’s India head of original content Aparna Purohit, and Tandav’s producer Himanshu Krishna Mehra
The FIR has been registered under sections;
153 A – promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language
295 – injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class
505 (1) (B) – Statements conducing to public mischief with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquility
469 – Forgery for purpose of harming reputation, and
505 (2) – Whoever commits an offence specified in sub-section (2) in any place of worship or in any assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship or religious ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine, along with sections of the IT Act.