Indian web series, Bollywood movies and controversies are other news that we hear every day. While the creators promote their show/movie very well, there is often a lot of negative publicity involved as well. There is too much talk every day about religion in india. Yet somehow, it’s never enough. Although religion and faith began as one personal connection to divine power, it has become increasingly commercialized in modern times.
Certain ancient customs are still practiced today, although times have changed drastically. Some ‘religious’ practices hold back basic human rights and carry discrimination between gender, caste, color, species and more. For the most part, these shows/movies face protests from religious organizations, leading to a large amount of newsprint being devoted to them.
2020 was the year that numerous movies and web series hit the web due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many of them sparking controversy for their allegedly objectionable content. 2021 hasn’t started any other way, with one of the first big series of the year, ‘Tandav’ hurting the feelings of a section of netizens.
Take a brief look at 9 of these Bollywood web series and movies that made headlines for hurting religious feelings.
1. My name is Khan (2010)
Karan Johar decided to speak out against Islamophobia with My Name Is Khan. A boy is murdered shortly after the 9/11 attacks, just because his last name is ‘Khan’. His stepfather Rizwan Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) embarks on a journey to meet the US President and let him know that although his name is “Khan”, he is not a terrorist. The film did not mean any harm, but Shiv Sena took great offense against Shah Rukh and even tried to stop its release.
2. OMG – OMG! (2012)
Probably one of the few times that a atheist is shown as a prominent character in movies; MY GOD turn around Kanji Lalji Mehta (Paresh Rawal) and his lawsuit against God. the movie attacks divine men and blind faith. Naturally, it drew the ire of religious politicians who brought cases against the main players. The film was also banned in the United Arab Emirates.
He aamir khan-starrer portrays the main actor who plays PACKAGE, an alien who arrives on our planet on a research mission. He lands in India and is stunned by the religious practices and superstitions that exist in the society. While the movie was the highest grossing film of the time, he met with strong criticism from members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and bajrang dalas they felt the film hurt religious sentiments.
4. Padmaavat (2018)
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’ faced public ire just as it performed in Rajasthan. The director was mistreated by members of a Rajput crew, Karni Sena, who alleged that the film distorted the facts about Chittor’s Rani Padmini. After much controversy and delay, the film finally managed to hit the screens in January 2018. Later, the group expressed their support for ‘Padmaavat’, after watching the film. A letter signed by Shri Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena National Vice President Yogendra Singh Katar and Sena Maharashtra Coordinator Jeevan Singh was delivered to the production of Bhansali stating that they have no objection on the screening of the movie.
5. Kedarnath (2018)
Little did Sara Ali Khan know that her debut film would cause so much controversy. The December 2018 release ‘Kedarnath’ faced criticism from Uttarakhand’s Chardham priests who claimed that the film hurts Hindu religious sentiments as it promotes ‘love jihad’. The chairman of the Kedarnath-based priests, Vinod Shukla, has reportedly stated that they will launch an agitation if the film is not banned. And it didn’t end here, a Hindu group also demanded that the film be banned because it showed love scenes like Kedarnath’s religious fate.
6. Paatal Lok (2020)
Produced by actress Anushka Sharma, starring Jaydeep Ahlawat, Neeraj Kabi, Gul Panag, Abhishek Banerjee, Rajesh Sharma and many other great actors. Paatal Lok managed to portray the reality of India’s caste, religion, fake news and crime problems. However, it also managed to capture the attention of Hindu extremist groups. Some right-wing Facebook groups have also labeled it “anti-national” and “Hindu-phobic” for portraying how minorities are treated and a legal notice was also sent for a scene where Sikhs rape a woman. These gave rise to the #BoycottPaatalLok which was quite a trend on Twitter. Nandkishor Gurjar, a member of the Legislative Assembly of the ruling BJP party, even filed a complaint against Sharma for using her photo in the series without permission.
7. A Proper Boy (2020)
A Proper Guy is a Netflix drama series starring Ishaan Kapoor and Tabassum Hashmi (Tabu). Just after a month of its release, BJP leader Gaurav Tiwari had filed a First Information Report (FIR) against the show’s video streaming platform. Tiwari is the National Secretary of BJYM (Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha).
8. Ashram (2020)
Aashram is an MX Player drama series starring Boby Deol, Tridha Choudury, Aditi Sudhir Pohankar, Anupriya Goenka, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Darshan Kumar and many other great actors. The series has reached an audience of 450 million. However, in a recent development, the District and Sessions court in Jodhpur, Rajasthan sent a notice to filmmaker Prakash Jha and actor Bobby Deol. A local resident, Khush Khandelwal, filed the petition in the Jodhpur court, arguing that actor Bobby Deol’s portrayal in the web series is morally wrong and belittles the image of Hindu saints and also harms the religious sentiments of Hindus.
Lastly, the latest Tandav features Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Gauahar Khan, Kritika Kamra, Sarah-Jane Dias, Sunil Grover, Kritika Avasthi, Niharika Kundu, Jatin Sharma and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub. Twitter was abuzz with comments under the hashtag ‘Boycott Tandav’ about a scene allegedly showing Hindu gods in low light. The objection seemed to be about a scene where one of the leads played by Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub was apparently playing a Lord Shiva-inspired character, holding a stick with what looked like the Trishul at a university drama festival.
Do the controversies really affect the producers/filmmakers of the show/film or is it a publicity stunt? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.