Disney Plus Hotstar web series Grahan lands in trouble

Web series Grahan, starring Pavan Malhotra and Zoya Hussain in the lead roles, will begin streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar from June 24.

Disney Plus Hotstar’s upcoming web series Grahan has landed in trouble ahead of its release on June 24. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Bibi Jagir Kaur has said the web series portrays a Sikh character in an “objectionable manner”. A witness of the 1984 riots has also sent a legal notice to the makers.

Directed by Ranjan Chandel, the eight-episode series is set in 1984 when the nation was shaken by the riots that took place after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The show is inspired by the novel Chaurasi by Satya Vyas.

Talking to reporters in Amritsar on Monday, Bibi Jagir Kaur said, “A Sikh character has been portrayed in an objectionable manner in a web series called Grahan based on the 1984 Sikh genocide. In the web series, the charge of Sikh genocide is being levelled against a Sikh character which is highly condemnable and fabricated.”

Kaur added that through the web series “work is being done to rub salt on the wounds of Sikhs which would hurt the Sikh sentiments”. She also believes that such a show will affect the “communal harmony” in the society, thus “the government should enact strict Information Technology (IT) rules to curb such sensitive and objectionable trends.”

Supported by SGPC, a witness of the riots, Nirpreet Kaur has also sent a legal notice to Ajay G Rai, producer of Grahan, and Sunil Ryan, head and president of Disney Plus Hotstar. Bibi Jagir Kaur has also warned the makers against legal action if they release the web series with content that shows the Sikh community in poor light.

People on Twitter have also joined Kaur in her protest against the web series. They are also demanding a ban on it for maligning Sikhs. A Twitter user wrote, “In trailer you tried to show there are sikhs behind 1984 genocide which is totally wrong. Must ought think before hotstar Web Series ‘Grahan’ @GabbiWamiqa PavanRajMalhotra don’t hurt sikh’s feeling. Shame on you @DisneyPlusHS @DisneyplusHSVIP & sensor board. #BanGrahanWebSeries.” Another wrote, “Stop playing with our pain. We strongly condemns and ask you not to release such series. #BanGrahanWebSeries”.

However, Grahan actor Pavan Malhotra feels the web series is “an innocent love story, a riveting mystery, a complex web of emotions, but most importantly a search for the truth.” Apart from Malhotra, the web series also stars Zoya Hussain in the lead role. According to Hussain, “Grahan is about an emotional turmoil when an investigation gets too personal. Viewers will see the story unfold from my character Amrita’s lens. The interpersonal dynamics of all the characters, the treatment and the nuanced writing is what makes it starkly different than any other show in the digital world. The way the story moves between characters while capturing real emotions is what adds to the overall charm of the show.”

(With inputs from PTI)

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