This web series on amazon prime is a perfect example of how the powerplay is done in politics and explores the dark side of politics. Tandav, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, is yet another high profile offering from the streaming platform that brings together a talented star cast, and a high-profile director who is best known for directing Salman Khan-led blockbusters. Safe to say then that quite like his movies, Ali Abbas Zafar keeps his debut web series Tandav stylish yet shallow and simplistic. The tag line was very simple and that is “No relationship is important in politics there are only two important things that are power and chair. From a line-up of brilliant actors to the extraordinary cinematography, from perfect costumes to strong and bold dialogues. Tandav had each and every element to outstand and shine. If you relate them to real incidents you will definitely feel frustrated. There are many incidents like students going missing from university to getting killed, that divide and political pressures in campus, all to the point of harsh reality. The dialogues, drama, and delivery will make you believe what the hell is happening in India.
The story revolves around the chase of the Indian PM’s position. Samar Pratap Singh (Saif) is the son of Devkinandan Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia), the Prime Minister of India! Samar is a brilliant and Ambitious politician but always gets underestimated by his father. One day he decides to assassinate his own father for the sake of Position but the concubine of Samar’s father Anuradha Kishore (Dimple Kapadia) gets to know about it by a miscellaneous phone call. She starts blackmailing Samar for the position of PM. On a parallel side, the story of student politics keeps running around fictional university VNU’s (JNU Types) student Shiva Shekhar (Zeeshan) and Sana (Kritika) which eventually collides with Samar’s story. Story of Tandav is a roller coaster ride, but is out of the top and bizarre at the same time. There are some good and bad aspects of its story. Sunil Grover was really amazing as people are used to see him in comic roles but here, he was the perfect villain, by stealing the show. There are some funny college incidents, where these so-called sentiments got hurt.
The makers of ‘Tandav’ issued an “unconditional” apology evening after complaints to police in Maharashtra and UP alleged some scenes “insulted Hindu gods and goddesses”. The statement said any offence was unintentional and that the series was “a work of fiction (with) any resemblance to acts and persons and events purely coincidental”. At least two complaints have been filed – one by a policeman in Lucknow and another by Ram Kadam in Mumbai. The UP cop alleged that 17 minutes into the first episode, “people dressed up in a very bad manner to represent Hindu gods and goddesses… that hurts religious sentiments”. Ram Kadam’s complaint added that the alleged insults to religious sentiments happened “every time”
After the UP cop filed his complaint a key aide of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath warned those named to “be prepared to pay the price”. Adityanath’s media advisor, Shalabh Mani Tripathi, referred to police vehicles – a remark seen as alluding to gangster Vikas Dubey, who was killed in an encounter last year while being transported in a police vehicle. Among those to claim outrage over ‘Tandav’ is Kapil Mishra – a BJP leader who is accused of making incendiary speeches that triggered the violence that engulfed Delhi in February last year. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, in whose state an FIR was filed against Netflix – alleging that the BBC adaptation of Vikram Seth’s ‘A Suitable Boy’ had hurt religious sentiments – also commented, saying: “Nobody has the right to disrespect our gods and goddesses… in my opinion, we need to keep a strict eye on OTT platforms as they are showing vulgar content.” The protests have also led to a political row, with opposition parties lining up to criticise the BJP. The JDU (the BJP’s Bihar ally) and the Samajwadi Party (in the opposition in UP) have spoken out. The JDU’s KC Tyagi said politicians could not decide film content and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said the BJP was acting out a “Tandav (Shiva’s dance of destruction) on ‘Tandav'” to deflect attention from the farmers’ protest. Over the past few weeks, OTTs like Prime and Netflix have been frequently accused of hurting religious or national sentiments. A Netflix movie starring Anil Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap – in which Kapoor plays the role of an Air Force officer – was criticised for “not conform(ing) to the behavioral norms of those in the Armed Forces of India. In November the center brought online news portals and content providers like Prime and Netflix under Javadekar’s ministry. Previously there were no laws or panels governing digital content. This was after the Supreme Court sought its response on a petition to have an autonomous body regulate content on OTTs.