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

The Asian Age - - The Buzz -

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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