A Christian organisation has objected to the scheduled staging of a play in Mumbai on grounds that it mocks God and hurts religious sentiments of the community.
The Catholics Secular Forum (CSF) general secretary Joseph Dias alleged in a statement that the play is “anti-Catholic and mocks the Christian God” and attempts to target the minority (Christian) community.
The play - Agnes of God - directed by Kaizaad Kotwal with the lead role played by Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, was scheduled to premiere on October 4 at Mumbai’s Sophia Bhabha Auditorium.
The posters of the play mentions how “Agnes, a young nun, gives birth and insists that the child was the result of an immaculate conception” and poses the question - “Do you believe in miracles?”
The play is said to be based on a true story in which reason and faith are at loggerheads.
“I think we are retrograding, regressing. If this play could be tolerated 25 years ago in India and there are issues now, what are we saying about India today. By doing a work of art you could be thrown in prison is a threat in my view. I’m seriously concerned. This is based on a true story. We haven’t concocted anything,” Kaizaad Kotwal, director of the play, told NDTV.
Dias said the play originally written by John Pielmeier -- which was later adapted into a film in 1985 starring Jane Fonda, Anne Bancroft and Meg Tilly -- is expected to have multiple shows in Mumbai, and later across India and abroad.
“Miracles are believed to be unexplainable phenomena and is a divine concept in all religions. So why mock religion, which helps the majority of the people and why target the Christian community,” Dias asked.
“Even if it is based on a true story, there are similar exceptions in other religions, too, but the Christian clergy is being picked out for the insult,” he added.
Dias contended that something like this happening to some ‘maulvi’ or ‘muni’ or the women clergy of any other religion would not have been tolerated and would have led to violent reactions.
“The law of the land must take its course and apply to all citizens equally. We demand that police should stop the staging of this play immediately and book the director and actors for hurting religious sentiments of the Christians,” Dias said.
The CSF, a Mumbai-based NGO, has in the past protested successfully against movies lampooning Christians and also lodged complaints against individual for hurting religious sentiments.