Yet again another FIR has been lodged against a web series for hurting religious sentiments. Supreme Court has now issued a notice against the makers of Amazon Prime’s ‘Mirzapur’ for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, showing abusive content and illicit relations and spoiling the image of the town in Uttar Pradesh.
The FIR has named ‘Mirzapur’ producers Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar and Bhaumik Gondaliya.
Only recently, the web series starring Saif Ali Khan and Dimple Kabadia, ‘Tandav’ has been at the receiving end of backlash from members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is still currently in the process of editing the scenes that were the reason of such backlash. The makers of ‘Tandav’ have issued an unconditional apology and said any alleged offensive content is purely unintentional, as the show is only a work of fiction.
‘Mirzapur projects the judicial system as false and polluted’
The FIR against ‘Mirzapur’, was lodged by local journalist Arvind Chaturvedi at Mirzapur’s Kotwali Dehat police station. Chaturvedi who has also written a book on the life of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In his police complaint, Chaturvedi says the plot and dialogues of the web series have hurt his “religious, social and regional sentiments” and that it has provided a wrong portayal of Mirzapur city. He said that he series also projects the judicial system as “false and polluted,”.
The FIR was registered on January 17, and invokes Sections 295A (deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens), 34, 504 and 505 of the IPC and Section 67a of the IT Act.
Vinod Sonkar, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Secretary and Lok Sabha MP from Kaushambi in Uttar Pradesh had demanded action against the producers of “Mirzapur” earlier. He said he was happy that an action was taken against Tandav for hurting religious sentiments, and that the same is to be done with Mirzapur.
“I am thankful to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath but I also urge him to take action against the makers of Mirzapur web series. The reason being that this web series has badly hurt the sentiments of people and image of Mirzapur,” Mr Sonkar said. “Mirzapur is famous for carpet business and for the Maa Vindhyavasini Shaktipeeth which is one of the most sacred religious centres for Hindus. But the makers of ‘Mirzapur’ web series have damaged the image of the district globally and have hurt the sentiments of people,” he added.
What is Mirzapur about?
‘Mirzapur’ is an action crime thriller that revolves around drugs, criminals, murders, lawlessness. It showcases drug lords and mafia dons, often in a local rivalry and displays crime prevailing in regions of Uttar Pradesh. Season one of the show was released in 2018 and was an instant hit, whereas the second season came out in 2020.
Other web series’ that led to an outrage
Recently in 2020, a Netflix original starring Tanya Maniktala and Ishaan Khattar, ‘A Suitable Boy’ had made it to the headlines in name of causing offense to religious sentiments. A scene in the show had portrayed a Hindu girl kissing a Muslim boy, and that had led to and outrage which led to people trending ‘BoycottNetlfix’ on twitter.
Even Anil Kapoor’s recent feature in a Netflix production had led to people being offended when he was seen sporting an IAF uniform and simultaneously using inappropriate language.
“The IAF uniform in this video is inaccurately donned & the language used is inappropriate (sic),” the Indian Air Force had tweeted, which led to Anil Kapoor posting a video of him apologising.
All these web series being ‘cancelled’ for ‘hurting sentiments’ just brings us to an alarming question of how much longer filmmakers will be having the freedom of making their own shows and movies without worrying about censoring half the content in fear of offending the locals. Ultimately it is the cinematic liberty that is being tampered with due to the constant boycotting of shows and movies.