Amidst the controversy surrounding the Tamil film 'Annapoorani,' actress Nayanthara has finally opened up and issued a public apology for unintentionally hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus via social media through a long note. The movie faced criticism for its alleged anti-Hindu content, leading to its removal from the OTT platform Netflix.
In a heartfelt note shared on her Instagram account on Thursday (18th January), Nayanthara began her apology with the sacred phrase "Jai Shri Ram." She expressed regret, stating that the film intended to convey a positive message but may have inadvertently caused hurt during the process. ALSO READ: Divine Sculpture for the Divine: Ram Lalla Idol Unveiled Ahead of Ayodhya's Ram Mandir Inauguration!
"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 the gravity of this issue," Nayanthara wrote in her statement.
Addressing her own beliefs, Nayanthara emphasized being a firm believer in God and frequently visiting temples across the country. She asserted that intentionally causing hurt to religious sensibilities would be the last thing she would do. "Being someone who wholly 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," she added.
Nayanthara concluded her apology by reiterating that 'Annapoorani' was meant to uplift and inspire, not to cause distress. The actress acknowledged the unforeseen backlash and apologized to those affected.
The controversy surrounding 'Annapoorani' intensified when Zee Studios, one of the film's co-producers, issued an apology to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) for hurting Hindu religious sentiments. Zee Studios urged the film's co-producers, M/s Trident Arts, to take appropriate action against problematic scenes in the film. Additionally, Zee requested Netflix to remove the movie from its OTT platform until the film underwent alterations. The letter also apologized for offending the religious sentiments of the Hindu and Brahmin communities.
'Annapoorani' had its Netflix release on December 28, 2023, and is Nayanthara's 75th film. Co-produced by Trident Arts, Zee Studios, and Naad Studios, the film faced de-platforming by Netflix on January 11, 2024. ALSO READ: Netizens Surprised as Major Bollywood Actors SRK, Salman & Aamir Khan Aren't Invited for Historic Ram Mandir Inauguration!
Critics on social media accused 'Annapoorani' of promoting conversion to Islam, misrepresenting the revered Hindu deity Bhagwan Ram, and offending the religious sentiments of Hindus. Former Shiv Sena leader Ramesh Solanki, the founder of Hindu IT Cell, filed a police complaint against the film on January 6, citing objectionable scenes depicting Islamic prayer, glorification of love jihad, and falsehoods about Lord Ram and Maa Sita consuming meat in the Ramayana.
Subsequently, on January 10, an FIR (First Information Report) was registered against the film's makers and actors in Madhya Pradesh by the Hindu Seva Parishad.
The 'Annapoorani' controversy has ignited debates about creative freedom, religious sensitivity, and the responsibility of filmmakers in portraying culturally and religiously sensitive content in India. The incident also underscores the ongoing tension between artistic expression and religious sentiments in the country.