Tandav Controversy Row: Other movies and series which faced backlash

Everything you need to know about Amazon Prime’s Tandav controversy

The Amazon Prime Video web series, Tandav, a nine-episode political thriller of starring Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub has been at the centre of a controversy after it was alleged that certain scenes of the series are offensive to a certain community. The Amazon special started streaming last week but found itself in neck-deep trouble with loud calls for its boycott and an FIR against its makers. At the centre of the controversy is a scene with Zeeshan, playing the Hindu god Mahadev in a theatre production where he says “What the ….?

Complaints against the amazon series

BJP MP Manoj Kotak wrote to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javedkar seeking a ban on the series for allegedly ridiculing Hindu deities. Ram Kadam, BJP MLA in Maharashtra had tweeted and demanded an apology along with the removal of the part mocking Lord Shiva. Kapil Mishra another BJP leader alleged that Tandav is “anti-Dalit and full of communal hatred against Hindus.” Mayawati, former UP chief minister, wrote in a tweet that in the interest of ‘peace and harmony,’ the objectionable scene in the series should be removed from the series. Later, the I&B ministry sought an explanation from Amazon Prime Video, the OTT platform after the controversy broke out.

An FIR was registered against the director Ali Abbas Zafar, Amazon India original content head Aparna Purohit, writer Gaurav Solanki and producer Himanshu Krishna Mehra and others at the Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.

Tandav, creator-director Ali Abbas Zafar issued an apology on Monday for having unintentionally hurt the sentiments of a certain section of the audience.

Here are other movies and series which found itself in trouble

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, a romantic drama faced threats from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) because it featured Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. Karan Johar-directed movie was in controversy because Pakistani actors were not allowed to work in India post the Uri attack and Fawad Khan was in it. Karan Johar had to issue an apology and promise not to engage with talent from the neighbouring country for the film’s smooth release in October 2016. Karan Johar, one of Bollywood’s most powerful director, had earlier faced controversy for using “Bombay” instead of “Mumbai” in a Ranbir Kapoor starrer Wake up Sid.


The Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed Padmaavat led to a massive controversy before its release with Karni Sena demanding a ban on the movie, blaming it for distorting facts on princess Padmavati. The movie’s set in Kolhapur, Maharashtra was set on fire and the director was manhandled while shooting the movie in Rajasthan’s Jaipur. The lead actress of the movie Deepika Padukone faced threats to her life with a bounty put on her head. A rumour that the movie had one love scene between Allauddin Khilji and Padmavati had created a stir on social media. The title of the movie was changed from Padmavati to Padmavat in January 2018.

A Suitable Boy

A Netflix web-series made on Vikram Seth’s novel, A Suitable Boy, faced backlash for a scene showing a Muslim boy kissing a Hindu girl in the backdrop of a temple. A police complaint was filed by Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha national secretary Gaurav Tiwari in MP against the Netflix India officials. Narottam Mishra, state home minister, asked the police to examine whether the scenes were shot in a temple as it hurt the sentiments of a particular community.

Pataal Lok

Pataal Lok, another Amazon Prime Video special stirred controversy after BJP MLA Nandkishor Gurjar filed a compliant for allegedly using his image without his permission. People called out for the boycott of the series for its depiction of communal issues, beef lynching and other issues. Also, a pet was named “Savitri: which was objected.

Lipstick Under My Burkha

The movie was denied a certificate from Central Board of Film Certification, objecting to the depiction of sex scenes and abusive language. However, the movie released later in July 2017.

And there are many more like Sacred Games, Leila, Chhapaak, Ramleela, Udta Punjab, PK, My Name is Khan, Jai Ho in the list of films and web series which found itself in trouble for one reason or another.

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