More woke than most, online streaming giant Netflix has received its taste of secularism in India after radical Islamists on the realms of social media platforms demanded strict action against the company for publishing verses from the Quran in the promotional poster for its show ‘Nava Rasa’. Leading the charge in the movement was the Raza Academy which is notorious for pushing a radical idea of Islam while claiming to promote Islamic beliefs through publications and research.
A portion of the Quran features in the background of the poster made for the web series ‘Nava Rasa’, a Tamil series produced by Mani Ratnam, the director of the famous 90s film Roja, and Jayendra Panchapakesan.
In protest, Raza Academy, an Indian Sunni Muslims organization promoting Islamic beliefs in India, tweeted, “Netflix has published a verse of the Quran in the advertisement of its film NavaRasa in Daily Thanthi newspaper This is an insult to the Quran. We demand strict action against Netflix India”.
Remember one thing that Quran and Islam are not the sources of entertaining people.
It belongs to our dignity and religious beliefs.
Please don't hurt our religious feelings by doing these kind of things.#TahaffuzeQuran#RemoveNavarasaPoster #BanNetflix pic.twitter.com/ntdQcQsj3Y
— ✿Ahmad Raza✿ ࿐احمدرضا࿐ (@Ahmad_Raza_Q) August 6, 2021
Netflix has published a verse of the Quran in the advertisement of its film NavaRasa in Daily Thanthi newspaper
This is an insult to the Quran. We demand strict action against@NetflixIndia#BanNetflix #BanDailyThanthiNews #TahaffuzeQuran
— Raza Academy (@razaacademyho) August 6, 2021
Islamists hate Mani Ratnam because of his continuous portrayal of Islamic fundamentalism, from the 1992 movie Roja to his 1995 movie ‘Bombay’ and now he has again irked them with the same theme in his latest Netflix series.
Roja, which depicts Islamic terrorism and the bravado of Indian armed forces in Kashmir, became hugely popular in Tamil Nadu and brought a new wave of nationalism and sentiment in the state towards the sovereignty and integrity of India.
In 1995, after the release of ‘Bombay’, a movie that was made in the backdrop of Mumbai riots and depicted a love story between a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl, the Islamists threw a bomb at Mani Ratnam.
“A director whose latest film angered Muslims by portraying religious violence and a Hindu-Muslim romance was wounded Monday by attackers who threw two homemade bombs at his house,” says an AP report from 10th July 1995.
The Muslim extremist organizations first called for a ban on the movie, as per an India Today report published on April 30, 1995. “Following protests from an assortment of self-styled Muslim leaders, including Raxa Academy General Secretary Ibrahim Tai, Muslim League corporator Yusuf Abrahani and Janata Dal’s Faiyax Ahmed, who were invited to a special screening on April 6, City Police Commissioner Satish Sahoney ordered that the release of the film should be stayed for a week.”
The Muslim leaders argued that the film “insults the culture and religion of Muslims”, and that they would settle for nothing less than a ban. Says Tai: “We didn’t like the film from start to finish. We believe a Hindu-Muslim marriage is illegitimate.” Muslim leaders also objected to the “biased” depiction of the riots. Asks Ahmed: “Why haven’t they show+n what the police did?” Maulana Abdul Ludus Kashmiri of the Ulema Council who, incidentally, hasn’t seen the film, doesn’t mince his words: “This film was made to insult Muslims and set fire between the communities.”
However, when the government refused to put a ban on the movie, the Islamic extremists threw a bomb at the director, severely injuring him. No one claimed responsibility, but police suspect a radical Muslim group, Al-Umah, which has attacked Hindu leaders in Madras. Although Mani Ratnam identifies with the leftist cabal, with hardcore Dravidianism, he has done little to appease Islamic fundamentalists which makes him a target of the leftists as well despite his allegiances.
The depiction of Islamic terrorism and fundamentalism makes Mani Ratnam an enemy of Muslim fundamentalists who had already made unsuccessful attempts to take his life.