It was on December 17, 2022, that the OTT channel Vidly.TV aired the fourth episode of its first original action thriller web series, Sevak: The Confessions (https://Sevak.Vidly.tv), based on true events in India, and in a knee-jerk reaction, the Indian Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) banned the series and OTT streaming platform for allegedly airing anti-India content. A similar reaction was seen recently when the Indian Government banned the BBC documentary on Modi. The response was severe, offensive and immediate, but not surprising since Sevak boldly presented unfiltered historical facts, highlighting the human rights atrocities and clear and present danger for minorities living in India. In the words of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) group in their latest annual report released on January 12, the Indian government’s ‘systematic discrimination against religious minorities, stifling of peaceful dissent, and use of technology to suppress free expression – to tighten its grip on power’, are increasing progressively. Sevak: The Confessions moves the audience through a seamless journey of events taking place between 1984 to the present, opening their minds’ eye to the reality of prevailing and growing terrorism garbed in Hindutva ideology. Each episode is rife with thrill and action, shattering the carefully planted narratives to reveal the truth and manipulation of human suffering and circumstances. Sevak: The Confessions | Episode 1 | Was it an Accident? The first episode introduces the philosophy that it is no accident that the protagonist and antagonist were born on the same day – the hero and demon are born in pairs, their paths destined to intersect. The audience is tuned to the story of good and evil and set on the path to find evil. Vidya, a struggling journalist, is striving to keep her father’s legacy alive. She is approached by a mysterious man, Mannu, who promises to give her the biggest story of her career – the death of Jeet Singh was no accident, it was a thought-out murder. She is intrigued and quickly pulled into the web of mystery spun by Mannu. They set out on their journey to trace the truth behind the death of a Sikh activist. The story is set against the backdrop of factual events. In this episode, the audience is transported to 1984, the year of “Operation Blue Star” and “Operation Woodrose”, when within months, 5000 innocent Sikhs were massacred inside the Golden Temple by the Indian Army, in a blatant violation of human rights. The violent religious-based attack against targeted Sikhs desecrated 175 Gurdwaras and more than 200,000 Sikh men, women and children went missing. To add insult to injury, the operation was conducted on a religious Sikh holiday. It was one of the worst massacres in Indian Sikh history. Sevak: The Confessions | Episode 2 | Sunset Over Ayodhya As the story unfolds in the second episode, Vidya becomes entangled in a web of deceit. She sought protection but, the police instead put her under house arrest. She is baffled and fear grips her, as it dawns on her that those who are supposed to protect are actually the danger. The audience becomes cognizant of the fact that the government maybe involved and possibly behind the unrest in the country. The timelines of the series are fluid, and the audience is fast-forwarded to December 1992 when Babri Mosque was demolished by the Kar Sevaks of BJP, RSS and VHP triggering one of the most deadliest riots against Muslims – yet another minority targeted and the involved are acquitted, making it clear that the government supports the religious atrocities. The series lifts the veil and shares the reality of the human brutalities rampant but hidden in India. A crowd of almost 150,000 people gathered to listen to emotionally charged and instigating speeches of leaders of BJP and VHP at the Babri Mosque in Ayodha and consequently storm the mosque and demolish it in a few hours. The demolition occurred despite assurances from the state government to the Supreme Court that the mosque would not be harmed. On the same evening of December 6, 1992, kar sevaks started attacking Muslim residents of Ayodhya, ransacking and demolishing their houses. 2000 people were killed, houses and shops were torched and destroyed, including 23 local mosques and riots broke out in different parts of the country, including Mumbai. Sevak: The Confessions | Episode 3 | The Untouchables The episode is action-packed with an interweaving chase. The audience is on the edge of their seats as Vidya and Mannu play hide and seek with an unknown evil. On the run, Mannu continues to narrate the story behind Jeet Singh’s murder and Vidya is shocked to learn of truths hidden in plain sight. The series skillfully takes the audience on a changing timeline, doing justice to three parallel worlds – the present of Vidya and Mannu, the life of Jeet Singh and the history of events. In the third episode, the audience can start seeing a pattern – a focus on the plight of religious minorities and India’s increasingly endangered civic space. In this episode we are transported to January 22, 1999, and the true story of the gruesome murder of an Australian Christian missionary Graham Stuart Staines and his two sons Philip and Timothy in Orissa is revealed. Graham had attended a jungle camp, an annual gathering of Christians of the area to strengthen fellowship and for teaching. In the night he was sleeping with his sons in his station wagon when it was set afire by a mob. This violent attack once again brought to light the dire and deteriorating human rights situation in the country, with the government being blatantly lenient towards the actions of people clearly linked with terror groups. Sevak: The Confessions | Episode 4 | Deceitful Wiles The infamous fourth episode that set the nerves of the Government of India on fire, set the story against the backdrop of the Gujarat pogrom. In this episode the government is planning to arrest Vidya under the UAPA Act. Mannu and Vidya are on the run and are given protection by a poor Muslim family. The family members share the story of Gujarat pogrom. Mannu explains how the Godhra massacre and Samjhauata Express blasts were an inside job of the RSS. Vidya recalls her interviews of the victims and realizes her own brother is a deceiver. As the Jeet Singh story unfolds we are shown how he is becoming a youth icon after a blockbuster film. The poor muslim family is killed by RSS for saving Vidya and Mannu. The Hindu majoritarian ideology of the RSS and BJP, led by the current Prime Minister came to full light when Ehsan Jafri (Indian Politician) amongst thousands of other innocent Muslims, got killed in the state-sponsored Gujarat Pogrom in February 2002. The episode shows how it happened and brought to life how the Indian government was and continues to blindly pursue the Hindutva-driven agenda of the ruling BJP-RSS nexus, where perpetrators of hate and violence are protected by law and enjoy impunity; where religious minorities are constantly threatened and denied the freedom to practice their faith without fear for their lives, property and places of worship. This event is glossed over and silenced in India, which is why it was not surprising that the Indian Government did not want the truth of the events shown to the public. Sevak: The Confessions | Episode 5 | Wounds In this episode, Mannu narrates the story of Vijay Karkare, a hero, who investigates the deep roots of terrorism in the Sangh Parivar. Contrary to instructions given by IB, ATS Chief Karkare arrests Col Purohit Prasad and Pragya Thakur during the investigation of Samjhuata Express and Malegaon bomb blasts. Karkare is striving to uncover the whole Hindu terror network of Sangh Parivar. In parallel, Jeet Singh is concerned about the issues of Punjab – water crisis, extrajudicial killings and higher suicide rate of his fellow farmers. The episode uncovers the reality of the Samjhauta Express Bombings. In February 19, 2007, sixty-eight (68) innocent passengers including forty-four (44) Pakistanis were charred to death in a deadly terrorist attack carried out by Swami Aseeman and at the behest of RSS. Sevak: The Confessions | Episode 6 | The Twist Vijay Karkare unravels the truth behind all the horrors. A deep secret is unveiled, which shocks Vidya. She is told that Mannu is the actual murderer of Jeet Singh. In the meantime, Karkare reveals his findings in front of the media, which shocked the Sangh Parivar and consequently, he is killed by RSS in collusion with IB. Learning this, Vidya escapes Mannu. This episode starts tying up the story from this point. The episode brings to life the tragedy of sixteen years old Junaid Khan, who boarded a train from Delhi after shopping for Eid. He was most heartlessly and brutally stabbed to death by an angry mob of Hindu vigilantes. The episode reveals how human rights barbarism are increasing in blind and meaningless hatred, especially against the Muslims. Sevak: The Confessions | Episode 7 | The Martyr In a country where it’s a crime to be a martyr, rebels are born or rather being created. The episode concludes the story of Vijay Karkare and shows Jeet performing his pilgrimage. He forms a political organization and emerges as the de facto leader. SGPC organizes massive protests all over Punjab and finally it is revealed that the RSS Guru had ordered Mannu to kill Jeet Singh, if he wanted his disabled daughter’s health to improve. All this while, Vidya tries to protect herself from Mannu. This episode reveals the truth behind the murderer of ATS Chief Hemant Karkare on 26th November 2008 and how he was killed during the Mumbai attacks. Operation Kill ‘K’ was planned and executed jointly by Abhinav Bharat, RSS and VHP in collusion with the IB to save Pragya Thakur, Colonel Purohit Prasad and other Saffron terrorists, who carried out the Malegaon, Samjhauta Express and Ahmedabad bomb blasts. To hide the truth and protect the preparators, the Indian government system takes illegal and covert actions. Sevak: The Confessions | Episode 8 (FINALE) | The Truth The finale of the episode leaves the audience bewildered. Vidya finds herself in the midst of a decision – who is a friend and who is a foe – before the demon is unleashed. Mannu leaves his handicapped child at Guru’s ashram before going to murder Jeet Singh. Singh is killed in a staged car crash. After accomplishing the mission, Mannu returns back to the Guru only to find that his daughter was sexually molested, assaulted and eventually murdered by the Guru’s men. Vidya realizes that this whole episode of Mannu’s child’s death has shaken his belief in RSS and their narrative of Hindutva. Still mentally shackled in the claws of RSS ideology, Mannu is trying to clear his conscience and his storytelling is just his catharsis. In a shocking turn of events, Vidya takes an unexpected decision, leaving the audience in complete disbelief. “We shall guard your thoughts with our lives!”. The episode brings to life the reality of the staged car accident on February 15, 2022, of Punjabi film actor and activist Deep Sidhu after he became an important part of the farmers’ rights protest against the Indian government’s farmers’ laws. He had established the “Waris Punjab De” to fight for the rights of Punjab and got arrested after the Nishan Sahib was hoisted at the Red Fort. There is a conscious, consistent, and continuous effort by the current government and the Hindutva movement to ostracize minorities. The last episode brings together the three parallel stories to a culmination with a question of who is evil and who is good. The series takes a bold and much-needed step towards opening the eyes of the world to the state-endorsed human rights violations in India. While the image and perception of India globally may be different – secular, peace-loving and inclusive – but the reality is far from it. The truth is always hard to swallow and takes courage to tell. One only has to watch the series to realize the reality of the plight of minorities in India and to realize – Why Sevak Made Modi Nervous.