The Supreme Court on Thursday sent a notice to the makers of web series Mirzapur and Amazon Prime Video, on which it was aired, for allegedly portraying the Uttar Pradesh district with the same name in a bad light, reported ANI. The court sought a response from the over-the-top platform and the makers of the show.
The notice was issued on a petition by SK Kumar, a resident of the Mirzapur district, reported NDTV. The petitioner accused the makers of “maligning the image of Uttar Pradesh”. Kumar said Mirzapur has been depicted “as a den of terror and illegal activities”.
The show, which was launched on Amazon Prime Video on November 16, 2018, explores crime, murder and general lawlessness in a typically dysfunctional fictional town in the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh. Its second season was released in October last year.
The court’s notice came two days after a first information report was registered in Uttar Pradesh against the creators of the web series Mirzapur for allegedly outraging the religious sentiments, and portraying that a specific community had criminal links.
The FIR, lodged at Mirzapur’s Kotwali Dehat police station on Sunday, was filed after a complaint by local journalist Arvind Chaturvedi. The producer of the series Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Bhaumik Gondaliya and Amazon Prime Video were named.
The complainant claimed that the web series has hurt his “religious, social and regional sentiments”, adding that it presented the city of Mirzapur in a poor light. Chaturvedi highlighted that the web series shows abusive content, incest, and illicit relations.
The action against Mirzapur came on the heels of complaints being filed against another Amazon prime web series, Tandav, this week, and Netflix series A Suitable Boy in November.
Tandav is a political drama starring actors Saif Ali Khan, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Dimple Kapadia, which purportedly provides a commentary on India’s political scene under the Narendra Modi government. The show touches upon farmer agitations to student protests to police killings – all events that have happened under the administration of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Over the past few days, first information report have been filed in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar against the makers of the web series, which includes director Ali Abbas Zafar, writer Gaurav Solanki and Amazon Prime’s Head of India Originals, Aparna Purohit. The makers were accused of hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus and promoting enmity on grounds of religion. The makers of the show were also accused of spreading “caste-based discrimination”.
Amid the intensifying backlash, Amazon Prime Video on Tuesday caved in and agreed to make alterations to the series. “We have utmost respect for the sentiments of the people of our country,” said a statement from the cast and crew.
Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh Police had filed a case in November against two people, including the vice president of Netflix, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments after BJP members and Hindutva activists objected to a kissing scene, in A Suitable Boy, between the protagonists in a temple.