The trailer of upcoming Indian Netflix series Leila has stirred a major controversy. Based on Prayaag Akbar’s book of the same name, the web series is set in a future dystopia where Aryavarta is a code of life, everyone should abide by.
In this dystopian reality, ‘Aryavarta’ is the supreme rule to follow, that strictly punishes mixed blood or intermingling between communities. The protagonist Shalini plsuwd by Huma Qureshi, changes her religion after marrying Riz, a Muslim man. However as per the laws of the land, they are forcibly separated and their daughter Leila, disappears at the age of three, at the same time Riz also dies. Shalini, sixteen years later tries to find her missing daughter, from where the story proceeds.
Apart from the frequent usage of terms like Aryavarta which are deeply associated with Hindu history and legends, other symbols of the religion are yajna (fire ritual) can be seen in the video.
People on social media have lashed out at the online streaming service for spreading Hinduphobia with such shows. They accused it to be a deliberate attempt of defaming the Hindu community. “OMG, such mischievous portrayal of Hindus is obviously meant to incite hate in others.. WHY? Because Hindus are the most tolerant people? Why this full distortion of truth?
Makes one realize how big the powers are which want to uproot Hindu Dharma,” said Maria Wirth, a well known writer on Hinduism and indic culture.
OMG, such mischievous portrayal of Hindus is obviously meant to incite hate in others.
WHY? Because Hindus are the most tolerant people?
Why this full distortion of truth?
Makes one realize how big the powers are which want to uproot Hindu Dharma.
Great, Modi went to #Kedarnath
— Maria Wirth (@mariawirth1) May 19, 2019
This is one of the attempt to show “Hindu” faith as “fascist”. @NetflixIndia you have supported an idea that demonises my faith. How dare u promote work of such a horrible hatred?I appeal mass to #BoycottNetflix . Seldom such fools know “Aryavarta”. https://t.co/OOQPQkjvP6
— Aabhas Maldahiyar 🇮🇳 (@Aabhas24) May 19, 2019
In the attempt to make a fiction, Netflix is supporting the creation on Hindu phobia..where none exist..I will #BoycottNetflix #boycottnetflix #Leila
I am amazing how in the name of creativity, another narrative is put out in the public..appalling!!
— neha c dimri 🇮🇳 (@NehaCDimri) May 17, 2019
Not only Indians in India boycotting @NetflixIndia, the NRIs are also cancelling the memberships of @netflix. Hinduphobia has become main business for these liars. Shame on these crooks.https://t.co/Dn0UvNW1y9
— Truth Speaks सत्यमेव जयते దాగదు నిజం (@TruthSpeaksTS) May 19, 2019
Netflix has become so hinduphobic in recent times. Brahman Naman, Leila. On @amazon prime they have presented Hindus as da ones who opposed LGBTQ in Made in Heavens. I think ignoring these r the best. The content on Netflix has gone bad drastically recently.
— AKS (@aksadorable) May 19, 2019
Wah re Netflix! Plz also disclose that ur imagined acts of fascism by Hindus are inspired by actual acts of fascism by the Abrahamics https://t.co/7WzLDyHNa1. This is exactly the reason why Modi won!
— Viswanath L (@bulletmanV) May 20, 2019
This is completely unbecoming of Netflix. #BoycottNetflix
I will be canceling the netflix subscription and advising friends to do so. Your hinduphobia is intolerable now.
— ಮರುಳ ಮುನಿಯ 🇮🇳 (@marula_muniya) May 20, 2019
“India’s first dystopian story, Leila is set in an imagined world, Aryavarta, in which there is great suffering, extreme and totalitarian rules of engagement and fictional extremes constructed around an obsession with purity, communal and divisive societal dramas and grit,” a press release from Netflix stated. The cast includes Siddharth, Arif Zakaria and Ashwath Bhatt.