Netflix India has taken a new title down from the streaming platform for “hurting religious sentiments” after it incited protests from right-wing Hindu groups.
Annapoorani – The Goddess of Food, a Tamil-language movie released in December, is no longer available to stream on Netflix in India as of last Thursday.
The movie follows actor Nayanthara, who portrays a Hindu Brahmin woman aspiring to become a chef. Being the daughter of a Hindu temple priest in Tamil Nadu, she challenges her family’s expectations by eating meat and participating in a prestigious cooking competition where she prepares non-vegetarian dishes.
Protests erupted outside Netflix offices in Mumbai on Wednesday, led by members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a devout Hindu organisation affiliated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.
Ramesh Solanki, the head of the “Hindu IT Cell,” lodged a complaint with the Mumbai police about the movie. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, he stated, “This film … is intentionally released to hurt Hindu sentiments.”
Solanki and the VHP subsequently circulated an apology letter from co-producers Zee Entertainment Enterprises, a prominent Indian media company based in Mumbai. The letter read, “We have no intentions as co-producers of the film to hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindu and Brahmin community and would like to hereby apologise for the inconvenience caused, and the hurt caused to the sentiments of the respective communities.”
In a separate case, authorities in Maharashtra’s Thane district announced on Friday that they had filed a case against eight individuals, including Nayanthara, based on accusations of offending religious sentiments.
I have filed complain against #AntiHinduZee and #AntiHinduNetflix— Ramesh Solanki🇮🇳 (@Rajput_Ramesh) January 6, 2024
At a time when the whole world is rejoicing in anticipation of the Pran Pratishtha of Bhagwan Shri Ram Mandir, this anti-Hindu film Annapoorani has been released on Netflix, produced by Zee Studios, Naad Sstudios… pic.twitter.com/zM0drX4LMR