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Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri on Tandav Controversy: OTT Platforms Trying to Paint Majority as Evil People

Vivek Agnihotri (L), and a still from Tandav.

Vivek Agnihotri (L), and a still from Tandav.

Filmmaker and CBFC board member Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri says that if a creative platform is used for political agenda, then there would be political repercussions.

I'm in favor of absolute freedom of speech. I want everybody to make whatever they want, as long as it's creative work, as long as it's their own interpretation about something. But when free speech is being used, or when a creative platform is being used for political agenda, then they will have political repercussion. There are no two ways about it.

Now, what has happened of late, is that the executives sitting in these American OTT platform offices, some of them are card-holding communists and activists, are using their political ideology to propagate the communist ideology. This is basically to embarrass the majority and to paint the majority as evil people and use religion as a tool. And that is quite visible now. This is why I've taken a stand against it.

I'm not against Tandav. I don't care whether it's banned or not, I don't want anything getting banned or boycotted. But yes, people should be aware and should be exposed that there are people sitting over there, and they are participating in a narrative war against the majority.

There is no textbook to Hinduism, there is no one God to Hinduism, there is no one belief system in Hinduism. Anybody who wants to call himself Hindu can call himself a Hindu, you don't have to convert your religion, you don't have to do anything.

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So obviously, it is a soft target and Hindus never cared about these things. We have always made fun of our own gods and goddesses, we have made fun of our own customs and traditions. There is no law of blasphemy in Hinduism, there are no fatwas. You don't have to baptize anybody to become a Hindu.

We are very different and we believe in multiple gods and multiple faiths and beliefs. This diversity, pluralism and inclusivity have slowly given license to lots of anti-majority and anti-India forces to attack Hinduism. It has become easy. OTT platforms have also become a tool. That's why I think people are standing up against it. But I want to make it very, very clear that I'm not against Tandav. I am against the people who commission and then promote things like Tandav, which hurts the sentiment of the majority.

I'm on the board of directors of CBFC, but still, I believe there should not be any censorship to any kind of speech. But yes, there should be regulation. If there is no regulation, then it comes under monopoly, or antitrust laws, and a whole lot of problems will emerge in the future. So there should be a regulatory body for OTTs, which primarily ensures that the minds of children are not infected with violence and hate and bigotry, which ensures that our national integrity remains intact, which ensures that there is no provocation for violence and hate in the society, which right now the OTTs are doing.

This should also ensure that pornography is not sold in the name of web series, which is being done right now. That’s what I believe.

(As told to