In a country deeply influenced by both cinema and religion, instances of films facing criticism for allegedly offending religious sentiments are not uncommon.
Recently, Nayanthara’s ‘Annapoorani’ was removed from Netflix after being accused of being “anti-Hindu.” As the actor issues an apology, let’s revisit five other similar instances that stirred controversy in the past.
‘PK’ (2014): The Aamir Khan-starrer faced backlash for its critique of godmen and unscrupulous religious practices. Khan apologized, expressing regret if anyone was hurt, emphasizing that it was not his intention to offend.
I’m extremely saddened that some sentiments have been inadvertently hurt by a recent episode of my show. I respect all religions, n it would never be my intention 2disrespect any.On behalf of the entire team, Raveena Tandon, Bharti Singh and Myself.. we do sincerely apologise.
— TheFarahKhan (@TheFarahKhan) December 27, 2019
‘Padmaavat’ (2018): Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama faced nationwide protests, with allegations of a romantic dream sequence between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji. The release was delayed, and Bhansali released a video refuting the claims to pacify the outrage.
‘Backbenchers’ (2019): The show featuring Farah Khan, Raveena Tandon, and Bharti Singh drew FIRs for allegedly making fun of the word “hallelujah,” hurting the sentiments of the Christian community. The trio issued a sincere apology, emphasizing respect for all religions.
‘Tandav’ (2021): The Saif Ali Khan-led web series faced severe backlash for a scene that Hindu nationalist groups claimed disrespected Lord Shiva. The makers issued an unconditional apology, acknowledging the concerns raised by the public.
As a response to these controversies, a Washington Post report reveals that OTT platforms in India, following the Tandav incident, are adopting a more cautious approach, practicing self-censorship to avoid potential controversies.
The delicate balance between creative expression and respecting religious sentiments continues to shape the landscape of Indian cinema on digital platforms.