Just five days after the premiere of Netflix’s first Indian original series ‘Sacred Games’, a Kolkata based Congress leader has filed a complaint against actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and the producers of the series for insulting former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. In his letter to the Kolkata Police, Rajiv Sinha said that Nawazuddin as Ganesh Gaitonde “abused our late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi calling him fattu, which translated as pu*** in the subtitle”.
He has also accused the makers of the show of “misrepresenting facts during his regime”. Directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, the series is based on the novel of the same name by author Vikram Chandra. Starring Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead roles, it goes back and forth in time, portraying the series of events that took place in the Maximum City.
The show contains episodes referring to the 1975 Emergency, imposed by Indira Gandhi, the government’s forced sterilisation plan to the Bofors scandal and Rajiv Gandhi’s gaffe in the 1985 Shah Bano case, when he was accused of choosing politics over women’s rights.
In the fourth episode of the series, titled “Brahmahatya”, Ganesh Gaitonde (played by Nawazuddin) accuses Gandhi of playing politics in the Shah Bano triple talaq case.
“… Shah Bano ko alag jalaya, desh ko alag. She took her husband to court and won. But the prime minister told her to shut up and overturned the court’s judgement. Even Hindus criticised him. To please them, Ramayan, the TV show, aired every Sunday morning when the entire country glued to their televisions,” he says in the show.
The Congress leader’s complaint says that the series has crossed all limits of decency and told a television channel that he suspected political motives behind such dialogues. Sinha said that the matter needs to be investigated with the Lok Sabha elections scheduled to take place next year. “Who is writing these dialogues? Who is instigating the actor to say them? This needs to be probed,” he said.
Sacred Games has received rave reviews from critics and audience. It has been lauded as a bold attempt for its sex scenes, the use of profanity and savagery. The show also stars Neeraj Kabi, Kubra Sait, Radhika Apte, Pankaj Tripathi and Vineet Kulkarni in important roles.