Following a series of controversies prompted by the web-series Tandav and the backlash it has received for scenes insulting the Hindu faith, Swara Bhaskar has now spoken out about the "environment of fear" generated by such issues and how it has affected the content creators.
"See, this whole thing about religious sentiments and their abuse is an argument I find rather inane...in a population of 135 crores how are you going to count how many religious feelings have been hurt?" the actress said in an interview to The Quint.
While talking about the criminal cases registered against the makers of Tandav across various states in the country, the actress opined that she was disappointed with the stand of the judiciary on the matter as they had refused to give protection to the makers.
Although actor Mohammed Zeeshan had argued in court that he could not be blamed for the script of a character, the judges had dismissed the argument citing that actors who read the script could not play a role that injured religious sentiment.
"The question of holding actors privately responsible for what is in the script and what roles they play...then tell me, those actors who play rapists, murderers, rioters and villains, should they also have cases on them?" she argued.
She went on to point out that the threat of 'religious sentiments' was used to create an environment of fear that would make content creators unable to express their full creativity. Swara revealed that scripts were even changed to avoid even the slightest chance of offending people.
"There was a joke I had done on the Ram Temple where I said something like 'the temple has been constructed, the prasad also distributed,' something like that. The platform said that I should not say this and remove it," she said.
The actress also said that she understood why people had not come out openly to support her as they too would be targeted and that it was better to pick and choose your battles in such a volatile situation. Her online feud with fellow Bollywood icon Kangana Ranaut has also attracted much attention but she denied any personal rancour and said the problem was largely ideological.
"I have ideological problems with the manner in which she [Kangana] is normalising hatred," Swara said.
While she praised the new forms of content coming out on OTT platforms, she revealed that she was deeply saddened by the current state of affairs.
"I am telling you that I am a Hindu...my feelings are hurt considering the stupidity going on in this country. My religious sentiments are hurt that an incorrect image of Hindus is being portrayed that Hindus do not have a sense of humour at all," she remarked.