It seems like the Tandav controversy is still not over. The fringe group Karni Sena has now turned its attention towards the Amazon Prime show, making things take a violent turn.
Maharashtra Karni Sena chief Ajay Sengar, according to Indian publications, has offered "Rs 1 crore reward to anyone who slits tongue of those who insults Hindu gods and goddesses in the web series".
Sengar, acknowledging that Tandav makers had apologised, said it was not enough and "will not be accepted".
The star of the show, Saif Ali Khan, has already been given additional security following the backlash.
First an FIR was registered in Lucknow against the show for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and then another one in Mumbai.
'Lofty ambitions, trite execution' — read Tandav's review here.
Earlier this month, the web series starring Saif Ali Khan and Dimple Kabadia was at the receiving end of backlash from members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), after which filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar offered an "unconditional apology" and said changes were being "implemented".
“The cast and crew of Tandav have made the decision to implement the changes to the web series to address the concerns raised towards the same," he had posted on social media. "We thank the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for the guidance & support in the matter. We once again apologise if the series has unintentionally hurt anybody’s sentiments.”
With increasing instances of complaints and calls to censor online content, India late last year brought streaming platforms under the oversight of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and said it plans to regulate their content.
As for Karni Sena, this is not the first time the group has resorted to violence; in 2019, Kangana Ranaut, the award-winning star of hits such as Queen and Tanu Weds Manu Returns, said in a statement that she had received threats from Rajput Karni Sena over the Hindi-language Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi.
Only a year prior, the organisation had famously tried to disrupt the release of Padmaavat over its portrayal of a legendary Hindu queen. The sets of the film were first vandalised in January by the Shri Rajput Karni Sena alleging that the film has invented a romantic angle between the legendary 13th-century Queen and Alauddin Khilji, the Delhi Sultan who obsessed with her.
It stepped up its protests after the teaser of the film was released, asking for “heads” and threatening to torch theatres screening the film.
It also threatened to cut the film’s leading lady Deepika Padukone’s nose — as was the fate of Ravan’s sister in the epic Ramayana. Padukone, who is India’s top actress, spoke out against the attacks, calling India “regressive”.
Eventually, the group 'realised' that the film didn't denigrate but glorified the Rajput clan.