Being guilty as they are of shamelessly peddling Hinduphobic propaganda shrouded as a web series called Tandav, the makers of the show, along with members of the cast had moved to the Supreme Court recently, petitioning it to grant them interim protection from arrest, and a transfer of all FIRs filed against them in various states to Mumbai. Much to their disappointment, the top court refused to grant any relief to the makers and cast of the controversial web series, saying that nobody has the right to hurt the religious sentiments of any community.
The Supreme Court, in fact, made no less than some scathing remarks regarding the web series Tandav and the petitions of those accused of hurting the sentiments of the country’s Hindu community. “Your right to freedom of speech is not absolute. You cannot play the role of a character that hurts the sentiments of a community,” the bench said. While the top court has denied any interim protection from arrest to the accused, the subject of the various FIRs being transferred to Mumbai is still pending before the bench.
Besides Ali Abbas Zafar, Director of the show and Aparna Purohit – head of Amazon Prime India, producer Himanshu Mehra, the show’s writer Gaurav Solanki and actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub had filed three separate petitions against the registration of FIRs in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Tandav is facing criminal cases for hurting religious sentiments and insulting religion punishable under Sections 153A and 295 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
It is no secret that the makers of Tandav are inclined towards getting the various cases filed against them transferred to Mumbai perhaps because of the softness of Maharashtra administration and law enforcing agencies while dealing with individuals from the city film industry. For the makers to seek protection from arrest, meanwhile, speaks volumes about how they know that they are guilty – and that law enforcing agencies from various states will soon come knocking on their doors to detain them.
Earlier, with the levels of outrage getting just too much for the creators of Tandav to tackle – two highly objectionable scenes from the web series had been deleted, purportedly upon the directions of the country’s Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry. The fact that the entire show is replete with anti-Hindu rhetoric is a separate matter altogether, which the makers of the show and the I&B ministry have shown no inclination to address.
The Supreme Court’s decision to not grant protection to the makers and cast of Tandav, however, goes a long way in showing that the web series even before the eyes of the Supreme Court is highly contemptuous, particularly towards the Hindu community.