Netflix has removed the Indian language film “Annapoorani – The Goddess of Food” from its platform amid a social media backlash for its portrayal of the daughter of a Hindu temple priest consuming meat. The film, which premiered in theaters in December and later became available on Netflix, faced criticism as Hindu priests and their families are typically known to follow a vegetarian diet.
As of Thursday, “Annapoorani – The Goddess of Food,” a Tamil-language film, was no longer accessible on the international streaming platform. Netflix representatives in India have not yet responded to requests for comment on the removal.
Protesters affiliated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a Hindu organization with ties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, demonstrated against Netflix and the movie outside the company’s Mumbai office on Wednesday. The protestors from VHP chanted slogans against the streaming service. Shriraj Nair, a spokesperson for VHP, reported the demonstration in a post on X.
The film’s narrative revolves around the daughter of a Hindu temple priest in Tamil Nadu who consumes meat, sparking controversy. In the storyline, she later participates in a high-stakes cooking contest where she prepares meat dishes.
Ramesh Solanki, self-described as the head of an organization called “Hindu IT Cell,” claimed that the film was intentionally released to hurt Hindu sentiments. Solanki filed a complaint with the Mumbai police, highlighting specific scenes he deemed offensive to Hindus.
Streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon, and Disney have frequently faced criticism from right-wing groups in India, one of the world’s largest streaming markets. In 2021, Amazon issued a rare apology for scenes in its series “Tandav,” which led to court cases and complaints of offending Hindu sentiments.
Netflix and Amazon have gained immense popularity in India, expected to burgeon into a $7 billion market for the sector by 2027, according to Media Partners Asia. The removal of “Annapoorani” highlights the ongoing challenges faced by streaming platforms in navigating cultural sensitivities and potential backlash in India’s diverse and culturally rich landscape.
Sources By Agencies