In defence of ‘Tandav’: Kudos to the team for taking up politics as theme in today’s repressive environment

‘Tandav’ team should be lauded for choosing politics as the central theme in present times when people are so fervently in love with demanding a ‘ban’ on what’s not agreeable to them

In defence of ‘Tandav’: Kudos to the team for taking up politics as theme in today’s repressive environment

Pragati Saxena

That the web series is one average Bollywood fiction is very clear; that it doesn’t have a very gripping story and slacks at points is also apparent. Why then such a hullabaloo over an average fictional drama?

The day Tandav released, the reviews criticising it for a lack of plot, dull script, etc flooded the internet and various media platforms. The reviews were not very far from reality. It initially received a not-so-optimistic response from audiences as well. But after three days or so, it took Twitter by storm and there were angry voices, ‘hurt sentiments’ roaring for ‘banning’ it. Naturally, its viewership increased. Next came the right-wing politicians, state ministers slamming the makers, and Amazon for ‘hurting’ sentiments. Then FIRS, then apologies, and then changes suggested in the web series.

Amid all this, an average Indian is left wondering-- why on earth an average web series could evoke such an angry response? And then, we have more immediate ‘real’ things to worry about--jobs, farmers, pandemics, poverty. Who are those people who are not worried about these real things and are angry about ‘Gods’, Gods who are all-powerful and omnipresent and actually don’t need mortals’ help to survive?

That in fact only proves that our faith has become so weak and fragile that any comment or gesture about our omnipresent God and deities makes us (as a society) hurt. So, actually, we should worry more about our dwindling faith in God than the Gods themselves! Why after all an artist (or artists) should not be free to express his opinion or even comment on society, country, or community? In a democracy, it is a fundamental right.

Over the years, we, the modern ones in our country have become quite tetchy, even violent about our Gods and faiths. Well, everyone knows why. The violence of a so-called non-violent community has been shocking our senses with its sheer brutality, so much so that now lynching and rape just become news items. Ironically, what seems to ‘provoke’ response from a certain section is just a comment on God's. While fear is what an average citizen lives in every day without actually voicing it.

In such an environment, where, the basic humane values (leave aside the democratic values and rights) are being threatened every day, writing and making a web series like Tandav is a courageous step.

So, what if Tandav is an average web series with some average performances (and a brilliant one by Sunil Grover), the makers and actors should actually be appreciated for making a political drama in which nothing is said very clearly, many sensitive issues have just been hinted at and left at that. Viewers are left guessing the subtle hints at the real-life stories.

Well, to sum it up--it is rather a strange feeling, in the sense that I never imagined that I will stand up for a very average piece of work; which I do now, and very strongly so! Good job Tandav team!

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