At least two scenes were removed from the controversial web series Tandav, which found itself in more trouble on Wednesday with fresh FIRs against its makers, this time in Madhya Pradesh and another in Maharashtra.
A scene of a play and a conversation between two key characters were snipped from the first episode, Tanashah, a day after the cast and crew of the nine-part political saga on Amazon Prime Video once again apologised and said they had decided to implement changes to address the concerns raised.
Watch the trailer of "Tandav" here
At the centre of the row over the show, which has hit the national headlines with calls for boycotts, FIRs and protests over its alleged depiction of Hindu deities, was a scene with Zeeshan Ayyub in the role of college student Shiva, playing the Hindu god Mahadeva (another name for Lord Shiva) in a play. A conversation between Lord Shiva and Narad Muni in the theatre production raised hackles.
That scene has been removed. Viewers now see Zeeshan's entry on stage as Mahadev amid cheers from the audience and the scene then abruptly shifts to police entering the campus to arrest a student.
Also gone is a conversation depicting prime minister Devki Nandan Singh, played by Tigmanshu Dhulia, insulting Dalit leader Kailash Kumar, enacted by Anup Soni. There have been other changes in the series as well. A dialogue referencing caste between Soni's character and Sandhya Mridul's Sandhya has been shortened.
A four-member team of Uttar Pradesh Police, where three FIRs have been filed, also arrived in Mumbai in the morning to conduct a probe into a case registered in Lucknow.
The team is likely to record statements of the makers and cast and crew of the show, which has been accused of hurting religious sentiments for its depiction of Hindu deities.
In a statement on behalf of the cast and crew of the series, the makers on Monday had apologised if they had "unintentionally" hurt anyone's sentiments with their fictional show. They followed it up on Tuesday with another apology statement, thanking the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for its "guidance & support" in the matter. "
The government recently brought OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar, besides other online news and current affairs content, under the ambit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, giving it powers to regulate policies and rules for the digital space.