Portions from at least two scenes in the web-series, Tandav have been snipped. This was done a day after the makers apologized for supposedly hurting religious sentiments. The changes also come in the light of two more FIRs (first information reports) that were registered — in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh — against the makers. The main two scenes — a play and a conversation — were part of the first episode, titled ‘Tanashah’, of the nine-part political series on Amazon Prime Video.
Tandav landed in a controversy after several Hindu groups said some scenes mocked deities and insulted Hindu religious sentiments, following which there were calls to boycott the series, protests and even scores of police complaints. One of the scenes that has been removed includes a scene featuring actor Zeeshan Ayyub, who plays the role of a college student named Shiva.
In the scene, Shiva is part of a play, essaying the role of the Hindu god Mahadeva (another name for lord Shiva). A conversation between Shiva and Narad Muni in the theatre production raised hackles. The revised scene starts with Zeeshan’s entry on stage as Mahadev amid cheers from the audience and then abruptly shifts to police entering the campus to arrest a student.
The second scene involves a conversation wherein prime minister Devki Nandan Singh (played by Tigmanshu Dhulia) insults Dalit leader Kailash Kumar (played by Anup Soni). There have been other changes in the series as well. A dialogue referencing caste between Soni’s character and Sandhya Mridul’s Sandhya has been shortened.
On January 19, the director of Tandav, Ali Abbas Zafar, took to social media to issue an unconditional apology, stating that they did not intend to hurt any one’s feelings or sentiments. He also said the decision to make changes was taken after discussing the issue with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The team had said that Tandav is a “work of fiction’ and “any resemblance to any acts or person or event is purely coincidental”. However, at least four FIRs were initially lodged against the Amazon Prime Video series Tandav for allegedly insulting Hindu gods and goddess and promoting enmity between different groups on religious grounds and publishing statements with the intent to incite a community or class. Director Ali Abbas Zafar, writer Gaurav Solanki and other members of the crew were reportedly named in the FIR. Despite issuing an unconditional apology, fresh FIRs were lodged against them.