The trailer of Bobby Deol and Aaditi Pohankar starrer Aashram, an MX Player original series, dropped on August 17. Helmed by Prakash Jha, the 10-episode series has been commissioned by MX Player and is set for release on August 28. The series deals with a self-proclaimed Godman Baba Nirala hailing from the fictional city of Kashipur.
While Bobby, who was earlier associated with romantic and comedy roles, has been appreciated for his complete transformation for the role and acting in the trailer, the series has been receiving a lot of flak for their dicey portrayal of a Hindu godman and the associated ‘Aashram’. Audiences have been retaliating against the series and urging for a ban on the series using the hashtag #BanAashramWebSeries on Twitter since it seems Hinduphobic.
Anticipating the backlash, the makers had already released a disclaimer video prior to the trailer launch stating that the series is not meant to offend the religious sentiments of any individual. They said that they respect all Gurus and their establishments, all religions and people’s faith, but wanted to address through Aashram, those people who try to take advantage of common-honest-simpleton people. They added that it is a fictional story that has no idea to hurt anyone’s sentiments. This had reportedly been done to avoid the flak, which nevertheless, the team has been receiving.
Some people objected to the linking of ‘bhakti’ with crime and even questioned if they would portray other religions in the same way. They labelled it to be a planned attack on the Hindu religion. Questions also arose on why Majid Majidi‘s film Muhammad the Messenger of God was banned and this wasn’t.
Where is Constitutional Justice & Equality ?
Govt Bans – Muhammad the Messenger of God
Allows – PK, Ashram .
…Why no care for Majority Hindus sentiments ??@nair_hena@SubuhiKhan01@Sanskritii_1@Ashwini_Raje@Vishnoi_Jasmeet@EkamSin84132468#BanAashramWebSeries pic.twitter.com/l7yCTtHCLG
— दीपक सनातनी🚩 (@follow2deep2) August 19, 2020
#Aashram web series is most dangerous MXPlayer to Hinduism
Trailer shows how Hindu Babas involved in Murder, rape, corruption, politics etc.
Its pure conspiracy to attacks on Hindu Religion.A D V E R T I S E M E N T
— I am GaneshRaj (@Ganeshraj9798) August 19, 2020
Why no one dare to make on other religions? Shame on #MXPlayer for to malign #Hindus.
When #CensorBoard will wake up on #OTT to protect from such wasted agenda to defame our faith.#BanAashramWebSeries pic.twitter.com/8C7zABYpTA
— #NationFirst# (@Shashwat_R_A_J) August 19, 2020
A similar incident took place for the Zee5 Tamil series Godman which also spoke of the journey of a fake godman. Audiences branded it Hinduphobic owing to the depiction of sex and sleaze and slander against the Brahmin community in the trailer.
Other shows like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video’s Sacred Games and Paatal Lok were also slammed for showcasing Hindus in a negative light upon their release. Apart from that, the shows were also mired in other controversies like allegedly hurting Sikh sentiments by intentionally adding a scene that disrespects the Sikh religious symbol ‘Kada’ and for the usage of a sexist slur.
Aashram also stars Chandan Roy Sanyal, Darshan Kumaar, Adhyayan Summan, Anupria Goenka, Tridha Choudhury, Vikram Kochhar, Tushar Pandey, Sachin Shroff, Anuritta Jha, Rajeev Siddhartha, Parinitaa Seth, Tanmaay Ranjan, Preeti Sood, Jahangir Khan, Kanupriya Gupta, and Navdeep Tomar in important roles.
Watch the trailer of Aashram here.