In a recent turn of events, Netflix has removed the Tamil-language film “Annapoorani – The Goddess of Food” from its platform following a social media uproar. The movie, which depicts the daughter of a Hindu priest consuming meat, stirred controversy, leading to protests by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Mumbai.
Released in theaters in December and subsequently available on Netflix, the film faced criticism for allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments. The storyline revolves around a Hindu temple priest’s daughter in Tamil Nadu who not only eats meat but also participates in a high-stakes cooking contest centered around non-vegetarian dishes.
While Netflix representatives in India have yet to comment on the situation, protestors from the VHP, associated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, raised slogans against Netflix and the movie at the company’s Mumbai office.
Ramesh Solanki, who identifies as the head of the “Hindu IT Cell,” voiced concerns on social media, alleging that the film intentionally aimed to offend Hindu sentiments. Solanki filed a complaint with Mumbai police, citing specific scenes deemed offensive to Hindus.
This incident adds to the ongoing scrutiny faced by streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Disney in India. In 2021, Amazon issued a rare apology for scenes in its series “Tandav” after facing legal challenges and complaints of offending Hindu sentiments.
The growing popularity of Netflix and its counterparts in India, projected to become a $7 billion market by 2027, underscores the impact and challenges faced by these platforms in navigating cultural sensitivities and diverse audience expectations.