Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma’s new web series production ‘Paatal Lok’, a police procedural that premiered on Amazon Prime Video this weekend, has largely received glowing reviews from critics and industry insiders like award-winning directors Anurag Kashyap and Hansal Mehta.
But there’s a section of viewers who have slammed the series labelling it ‘anti-Hindu’ and ‘propaganda-filled’ and the hashtag #BoycottPataalLok’ is gaining traction on social media.
Twitter user Dr Shrawan Arjun Bishnoi tweeted: “Sanitising my phone after watching ‘Hindu-phobic’ cum ‘propaganda-stuffed’ web series like #PaatalLok and many more, on the platforms like @PrineVideoIN and @NetflixIndia.”
Another user Sunaina Vinod called for the series boycott with: “Shame on you for producing Anti-Hindu web series. You can sell your soul for a few bucks?”
“Insulting “Hindu culture” glorifying beef-eating is the new ‘cool’ for show business too. #boycottPaatalLok,” tweeted one user.
A few have also raised objections to a scene which shows a Hindu politician eating meat against the backdrop of an Indian deity.
‘Paatal Lok’, written by Sudip Sharma, whose credits include ‘NH10’ and ‘Udta Punjab’, is the tale of a jaded cop Hathi Ram Chaudhary (Ahlawat) who investigates the case of an assassination attempt on a famous TV personality and journalist Sanjay Mehra (Neeraj Kabi).
In an interview with Gulf News, director Kashyap who was impressed with the series ‘Pataal Lok’ said the hate and trolls for the new series stemmed from intolerance and are politically-motivated.
“They are unable to take criticism of any kind,” said Kashyap in an interview over the phone.
The investigation, that reveals the rot in Indian society riddled with caste divides, caste politics and discrimination of Muslim minorities, is a nine-episode series and has been embraced by viewers and critics. The series also explores the murky world of media, fake news and trolls through the prism of a foiled assassination attempt on a famous news anchor.
The series is loosely based on rape-accused ‘Tehelka’ editor Tarun Tejpal’s book ‘The Story Of My Assassins’.
While a small section has slammed the series, the majority of viewers seem to be impressed by the collective acting and intelligent writing.
“Jaideep Ahlawat is such a brilliant actor. On Episode 3 of ‘Paatal Lok’. Everything about the show is good. Sudip Sharma and his team have adapted Tarun Tejpal’s book into a very engaging drama. Great storytelling,” tweeted Mehta.