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The Tandav around Tandav and OTT platforms

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Prasenjeet Kumar
Prasenjeet Kumar
An author who has written thirty books, six of which centre around Kashmir — You Can’t Kill My Love: A Kashmir Holocaust Love Story, Still Missing…, Kashmir is Free and Kashmir Thinks It’s Free and Kashmir is Free Finally (co-authored with his father Dr. Arun Kumar (IAS) Retd.), the Outsider’s Tales and a non-fiction memoir Unmasking Kashmir/The Outsider’s Curse (co-authored with his mother Sonali Kumar (IAS) Retd.) You can contact him at: [email protected]

The almost nation-wide uproar against the web-series Tandav has shocked the left-liberal gang like nothing could and put its producer, director, writer, and the actors on the back foot. Ali Abbas Zafar, its director, has already apologised and made some half-hearted attempt to edit the “offending” scenes. To be on the safe side, he has also procured “relief from immediate arrest” from the Bombay High Court.

The point to note, however, is that this is not the first time a Hinduphobic film has been made. Opindia and Swarajyamag regularly report/ review films that try to portray Hindus as savages. However, I don’t want to just review or over-analyse this web-series. Instead, I wish to focus on measures to deal with such Hinduphobic content, which is becoming too common for anyone’s comfort.

A measure being recommended is to cancel subscriptions of Netflix and Amazon Prime en masse—to teach them a lesson. The obvious idea is to put pressure on these platforms so that they exercise the same level of due diligence as they do when they put out anti-Muslim, or anti-Christian content on their platforms. Now is that a good idea? Let’s examine.

Don’t we find Hinduphobic content on the social media, YouTube, and even on the internet? So, should Hindus avoid the social media, stop watching YouTube, and quit blogging? Should we throw away our wi-fis and laptops as well? And if we did all that, would that solve the problem? The short/obvious answer is NO.

Hindus have done remarkably well in putting out their points of view on social media, and also through fora like Opindia, gemsofbollywood, or True Indology. Yes, Hinduphobic content on YouTube abounds, but there also exist countless channels that portray the beauty of Sanatan Dharma. And I’ve personally learnt a lot from them.

So, the simple point is: Why not harness the power of these platforms to create content that supports your point of view?

Thanks to Netflix, I don’t need to watch any Bollywood movie that ridicules Hindu gods, or portrays Hindus as beastly people. Because the platform has millions of movies from all over the world. I can watch Money Heist or High Seas (both from Spain), or Dark (from Germany), or The Queen’s Gambit (from the US), and not watch a Bollywood movie ever. So, just having alternatives limits the power and influence of Bollywood movies on our lives. Drastically. I don’t now need to suffer Saif Ali Khan or Amir Khan, when I can happily choose from a million movies from across the seven seas. So, Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hotstar in that context are my allies.

Recently, Swarajyamag did a fabulous report on how porn books involving Muslim men and Hindu women are being published on Kindle. But the same platform, of KDP or Kindle Direct Publishing, gives the same right to you to publish uncensored content. What’s then stopping you from publishing your point of view? Remember how Opindia published an entire 400-page report on the Delhi riots on Kindle?

Next, why not support artists who portray Sanatan Dharma in a beautiful light? Sometime back, I wrote a novel about two young Kashmiri Pandit lovers, Reshma and Sanjay, who were forced to live in exile, and in penury in the early 1990s. I kept all the horrors of Islamic terror intact without presenting the whitewashed, sugar-coated version of the Kashmiri Hindu tragedy that we saw in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Shikara.

And then I wrote a Kashmir Is Free trilogy, debating the scenario of what would happen if India walked out of Kashmir and made Kashmir Free?

And both works are available on Amazon for anyone to read.

So, my point is simple: Instead of boycotting technology, we should happily embrace it to our advantage.

And let the best side win!

What do you think?

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Prasenjeet Kumar
Prasenjeet Kumar
An author who has written thirty books, six of which centre around Kashmir — You Can’t Kill My Love: A Kashmir Holocaust Love Story, Still Missing…, Kashmir is Free and Kashmir Thinks It’s Free and Kashmir is Free Finally (co-authored with his father Dr. Arun Kumar (IAS) Retd.), the Outsider’s Tales and a non-fiction memoir Unmasking Kashmir/The Outsider’s Curse (co-authored with his mother Sonali Kumar (IAS) Retd.) You can contact him at: [email protected]
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