Netflix has pulled a film from its Indian streaming platform following a backlash from offended rightwing Hindu groups.
Annapoorani: the Goddess of Food tells the story of a young woman from the Brahmin caste, and her aspirations to become one of India’s best chefs. The Guardian reports that the film has been criticised for its depiction of a member of a traditionally vegetarian caste cooking and eating meat. The film has also been criticised for its depiction of Hindu deity Lord Ramthat, implying he ate meat while in exile.
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The newspaper reports that Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a hardline rightwing Hindu group began spearheading a protest against the film on Wednesday, saying it was “intentionally released to hurt Hindu sentiments.” Protests also occurred outside Netflix offices.
Within 24 hours, The Guardian reports that the film’s makers Zee Entertainment, had apologized, saying the film would be withdrawn and re-edited to prevent any further offence. It has now been removed from all international Netflix platforms.
Amazon faced similar protests in 2021, with Hindu groups deeming its political series Tanday offensive, while Netflix previously faced a boycott over its TV adaptation of Vikram Seth’s novel A Suitable Boy, accused of promoting “love jihad.”
The Guardian quotes Indian actor Parvathy Thiruvothu, saying the removal of Annapoorani from the Netflix platform sets a dangerous precedent and accused the industry of “censoring left, right and centre until we won’t be allowed to breathe.”
The VHP spokesperson Vinod Bansal said the removal of the film was a “victory for all Hindus.”
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