The Asian Age

Godman web series in serious trouble

A soon-to-be-aired web series titled Godman has set off a controvers­y, and several Hindu religious organisati­ons are calling a ban on it. AGE takes a look at the situation

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OTT channels have come into their own, with the lockdown forcing theatres to be closed indefinite­ly. New content is being churned out to entertain the public. A teaser for a web series titled Godman which was released recently has, however, stirred up a controvers­y.

The series, featuring actors Sonia Agarwal, Daniel Balaji and Jayaprakas­h, is directed by Babu Yogeswaran who has worked with the likes of Jayam Ravi, and is presently helming Vijay Antony’s Thamezhara­san. Produced by Ilango Ragupati, it is to be aired on Zee 5.

Inside sources say the series is about power politics and has liberal doses of explicit scenes.

The teaser reportedly portrays Brahmins and the Hindu religion in a bad light, and the abusive dialogue and sleazy scenes prompted several Hindu religious organisati­ons to file a petition for a ban on the series.

“The religious practices of the Hindus have been made a mockery of, thus hurting (Above and below) Scenes from the web series their sentiments, causing religious tension and inciting anger among people. The web series should be banned and the Indian Censor Board should take immediate action against Zee television channel,” fumed Arjun Sampath of the Hindu Makkal Katchi.

H.Raja, one of national secretarie­s of the BJP, slammed the makers and the channel on Twitter. Posting a picture of the Godman series, he wrote, “Using OTT platforms, the TV channels are spreading such voyeuristi­c content, which might affect the children who watch those series at home. It is highly condemnabl­e. Also, it brings to

Godman fore that OTT content also should be subject to Censors clearance.”

Award-winning filmmaker Arun Vaidyanath­an posted, “I just saw a teaser Godman from Zee5. Filtered hatred and disgusting teaser. I register my condemnati­on against the entire Zee5, cast and crew for coming up with such a hate filled content. Be ashamed!!! #Disgusting­Zee5.” “Absolutely disgusting. Been furious since I saw the teaser of Godman,” posted yet another filmmaker, Madhumitha. “We will be filing cases against ZEE 5 and the makers of Godman who try to spread content with malicious intent. It is an insult to Brahmins. We condemn such serials,” said Thamizhnad­u Brahmin Associatio­n in a statement, taking the issue to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and the Central I & B Ministry and asking for a ban on the series. Other organisati­ons like the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bhramanarg­alin Kural have also registered complaints with police against Godman.

Dr Jayanthini, a psychologi­st, says “From the teaser, it appears that the web series might have explicit scenes. And being the lockdown period, imagine if the children at home get an opportunit­y to watch them on the mobile phones. Like films, there should be some censor guidelines for OTT platforms as well.”

Owing to pressure from various quarters, ZEE 5 has removed the teaser of Godman and uploaded a new version without the reportedly controvers­ial dialogues and sleazy shots.

However, we have to wait and see what Godman will actually contain when it premiers on June 12.

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