A legal notice has been sent to the makers of Abhay 2, a web series on OTT platform ZEE5, a day after it waded into controversy for allegedly placing a sketch of martyred freedom fighter Khudiram Bose in a picture gallery for wanted criminals.
Following backlash on social media, ZEE5 had issued an apology, but it didn’t help cooling down the situation. Soon after, the Bangla Pokkho, a local group fighting for the rights of the Bengali community, sent the legal notice to the makers of the show, accusing them of maligning Bose and hurting the sentiments of 130 crore Indians.
Kaushik Maity, an office-bearer of the group, said, “What did they mean when they said they don’t want to hurt sentiments of any community? Is this an apology?” He said that the organisation will demonstrate before the office of the production house in the city.
Bose was hanged in 1908, at the age of 18, for his role in the Muzaffarpur conspiracy case, in which he and Prafulla Chaki, another revolutionary, had attempted the assassination of a British judge. He was the youngest freedom fighter to have faced the gallows.
Abhay 2, directed by Ken Ghosh, starring Kunal Khemu, Chunky Pandey, and Ram Kapoor, earned flak on social media for the scene where Bose’s sketch was seen on a gallery along with other criminals, in a police station, while an officer grilled an accused.
As the screenshot of the sequence went viral on social media, netizens trolled ZEE5, and some even called for its boycott. Among others, TMC MLA Madan Mitra and JNU students’ union leader Aishe Ghosh criticised the platform for the “shameful” incident.
In response to one of the tweets, ZEE5 took to Twitter to say that it did not mean to hurt anyone’s sentiments.
“The producers, show & the platform have no intent whatsoever to offend any community or hurt anybody’s sentiments. Keeping in mind the feedback received and with utmost respect to our audience, we have blurred the image (inadvertently) used in one of the scenes of Abhay2,” the official handle of the OTT platform said.
In another tweet, the platform also said, “We unconditionally apologise for the error.”
(With inputs from agencies)