Nayanthara’s Statement on ‘Annapoorani’ Controversy: “we may have inadvertently caused hurt…”

After the FIR lodged against “Annapoorani” for hurting religious sentiments, the team breaks silence on the issue

Attention India
5 Min Read

Days after her film “Annapoorani: The Goddess of Food” was accused of offending Hindu religious feelings, actor Nayanthara made an apology. Nayanthara expressed her regret on Thursday on Instagram, claiming that she and her staff had not meant to offend anyone. Her remarks followed a few days after a First Information Report (FIR) was filed against the movie due to claims that certain scenes offended Hindu sensibilities, disregarded Lord Ram, and encouraged “love jihad.” It also happened after Netflix, an over-the-top provider, pulled the movie. In her post on Thursday, Nayanthara said, “In our sincere attempt to share a positive message, we may have inadvertently caused hurt. We did not expect the removal of a censored film, previously showcased in theatres, from the OTT platform. My team and I never intended to hurt anyone’s sentiments and we understand that the gravity of this issue. Being someone who wholely believes in God and frequently visits temples across the country, it is the last thing I would intentionally do. To those whose feelings we’ve touched, I extend my sincere and heartfelt apologies”.”The intention behind ‘Annapoorni’ was to uplift and inspire, not to cause distress Over the last two decades, my journey in the film industry has been guided with a singular intention – To spread positivity & foster learning from one another,” Nayanthara added.

About the film

In the Tamil movie “Annapoorani: The Goddess of Food,” Nayanthara plays the main character. The movie follows a young woman from a traditional Hindu Brahmin household as she overcomes obstacles to pursue her dream of becoming a chef.

Netflix started streaming the film on December 29 after it was first released in theatres on December 1. However, it was later taken down from the OTT site due to formal complaints and allegations that it offended Hindu feelings.   

Controversial factors in the movie

Among the contentious moments are when Nayanthara’s character, wearing a hijab, performs namaz before preparing biryani, and when a friend purports to have persuaded her to chop meat by saying that Lord Rama and Goddess Sita ate meat. The film was charged with encouraging “love jihad” as well. 

Zed Entertainment, a co-producer of the movie, apologized in writing to the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) in the meantime. The production company clarified it that it had never meant to offend religious feelings. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated VHP was also given the assurance that the movie would not be rereleased until it had been modified.

How the netizens reacted

Many people didn’t like the fact that the movie was taken down from Netflix. While others felt it was important as it hurt religious sentiments. The people have mixed opinions. One commented,”I can’t believe people enjoy movies like Animal while they wanna raise issues with respectfully showing 2 different cultures working as 1 culture to be an allegation”

Another user said,” This was not necessary. I watched the movie Annapoorni. I would say it was a really a nice movie for foodies. I couldn’t find anything else!” While another one claimed, “I understand the intention. But there were some things that could have done in a sensible manner. She doesn’t understand how important her dad’s role is in the temple and community, what his devotion means to him but she relates to her boyfriends mom reading namaz 5 times a day and follows that while making biriyani. That’s what irked people. They could have shown that in the end she understands her father and cooks what he cooks for the temple after praying to Ranganathaswamy and wins and she gets this idea from her bfs mom. But no. She insults her father’s beliefs, throws her upbringing and then gets ‘moved’ by bfs mom following her religion. Respect should have been shown to her family. That’s where this film went wrong”

By: Gursharan Kaur

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