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Pataal lok review: A hinduphobic web series ?

Ever since Anushka Sharma's Pataal Lok released on Amazon prime, it has been into controversy. Until now two community and a BJP MLA has filed different complaints against this web series. This was the sole reason for me to watch and review it. 

Pataal Lok Review

Paatal Lok

Directors - Avinash Arun, Prosit Roy

Creator - Sudip Sharma
Cast - Jaideep Ahlawat, Neeraj Kabi, Gul Panag, Ishwak Singh, Abhishek Banerjee, Swastika Mukherjee, Niharika Lyra Dutt
Available on:

Spoiler warning! This review discusses revealing themes and elements of the movie’s plot.


The series starts with a conversation between two policemen, Hathi Ram Chaudhary (Jaideep Ahlawhat) and  Ansari( Ishwak Singh). Brilliant and natural actors. Hathiram describes the world is divided into three parts; Swarglok, Dharti Lok and Pataal Lok. He further adds "yeh shastro main likha hai par mene Whatsapp main padha that".

 Meanwhile, a car chase is seen between a few people and the Intelligence agency. Before getting caught one of the accused throws his phone from the bridge into the river. They are caught on the charges of conspiracy to murder of a renowned journalist Sanjeev Mehra in Delhi. The case is given to Hathiram, who is very eager to handle and crack a big case but was upset with the Intelligence officers for not giving full information.

In the next scene, Sanjeev Mehra who is been forced to resign from his office was shocked to see the news of a failed attempt of murder on him. He suspects Dashrat Kumar, the one whose political career was finished because of him. Also, he suspects his boss Singh Saab who is forcing him to resign because he is unhappy with is involvement in a case. Sara a colleague of Sanjeev is impressed by his work in past and was delighted to see him in the bar. Hathiram's wife role is played by Gul Pang, another great actor. Hathi's son failed in the exam and the duo is not happy with each other.

After looking at the history of the accused, Policeman was shocked as one of them was the most wanted criminal in UP, Akash Tyagi. He had committed forty-five murders and was still not caught until now. The other accused where a Nepali woman, a car theft Kabir and Tope Singh. More people are revealed related to the case on further interrogation with them.

The third episode reveals the past story of the accused Tope Singh and Tyagi. The story follows caste dispute, rapes, murders. In Tyagi's village rape is referred to as 'Bada kaam' and murder as 'Poora kaam'. There is a dialogue where one talks about Tyagi "Bade kaam ka badla poora kaam karke liya". He was called as hathoda tyagi as he kills people with a hammer.

Tyagi (Abhishek Banarjee)

CBI takes over the case and accuses them as terrorist as one of them is a Pakistani. Sanjeev Mehra takes advantage of this situation to become the Nation's pride.  Hathiram, Ansari and Sara smelled something off in this case as many of the evidence were changed and edited. 

  • Are CBI right about them or are they hiding something?
  •  Why they framed the case if not? 
  •  What if the neighbour country wanted to make unrest in India by killing a popular journalist? 
  • Sanjeev himself made up the act to regain his popularity?
  • Or is this a setup of politician Dashrat Kumar or Sanjeev's boss Singh?
  • Or a whole another theory?
There will be many questions that will come in your mind as come close to the mid of the season.

Controversy scenes discussion:

  • In the second episode of Pataal Lok, a Nepali accused woman during interrogation by a female constable is called as a sex slave. This has offended the Gorkha community and a letter has been written to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javedkar by Sikkim Lok Sabha MP Indra Hang Subba. 

  • In the third episode, 10-15 Sikh men are seen raping a woman which has hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community. Former Akali Dal MLA and Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee president called for a ban on the amazon web series.

  • Another complaint is from  BJP MLA Nandkishor Gurjar, for showing Sanatana Dharma and Hindu agencies in a bad light. He has publicly asked Virat Kholi to divorce Anushka Sharma as a punishment for her to produce Pataal Lok.

  • There is a scene where a policeman by mistake enters the temple with shoes on. There is a scene where a small Nepali kid wearing a sari is called  Chinese mata. In one scene a Hindu woman vomited seeing a Muslim guy eating non-veg. In another scene, some saffron-clad people are beating the same guy suspecting him of eating beef. Hindus are shown eating chicken in some scenes. All villains are Hindus but even heroes in this series are also Hindus. A man doesn’t want to offer prasad to a Muslim colleague and Muslim colleague wants it.

My Opinion:

There are cases of women sexually abused in all over the country, even there are cases of mob lynching in the name of religion in various parts of India. Passing racist comment to North-East people is not a rare thing in India. Many Hindus are non-vegs too. And there is no denial that still many Hindus feel threatened while being with a Muslim guy. 

Everything shown in Patal Lok is a reality happening around. By showing bigotry, corruption, the media’s compromises, patriarchy, caste and class struggles, Pataal Lok has taken on a portrayal of present-day India that we rarely see on the small screen... The problem with the people is that many are offended because the show has targeted only one community. I guess there wouldn't be any problem if it was both ways. There is Hinduphobia and Islamophobia in everything if you force yourself to believe.

Now talking of the series, its a well-written story. The plot is so interesting and complex and then comes the location and cinematography which indeed is beautiful and real. There is some flaw in direction and screenplay. It gets slow and less encouraging in the middle. But the storytelling will keep you hookup. It's a decent crime thriller series you can give a watch.

"Yeh system ek well oiled machinery hai Chaudhary, har purrje ko maloom hai usko kya karna hai aur jisko nhi pata usko badal diya jata hai Par system kabhi nhi badalta....."

                                                      - DCP Bhagat (Pataal Lok)

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