Members of the Shiv Sena put a piece of white cloth over a painting that showed Hindu god Hanuman --- in western attire and sporting gadgets --- inside the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) campus on Monday, alleging it was a mockery of the deity.
The painting, a part of the institute’s ongoing annual cultural festival Mood Indigo, was a creative take on the popular image of Lord Hanuman flying with the Gandhamardana Mountain that grew mythical life-saving Bisalyakarani herbs in one hand and his mace in the other.
In the painting, on a wall close to the Student Activity Center (SAC), he was shown holding a pen instead of a mace, his crown was replaced with headphones, an iPod strapped to his arm and a local train was drawn instead of a tail. The painting also depicted him wearing wrist bands, watches and sunglasses and western clothes.
Shiv Sainiks said the painting could have led to outrage among people and needed to be removed.
“The painting mocked Lord Hanuman who is revered by many. Making him wear sunshades, shorts, shoes and slippers cannot be called art. This is plain mockery of God, which is not acceptable,” Sunil Raut, Shiv Sena MLA from Vikhroli, said.
“This is a mockery of someone’s religious beliefs, and could have been picked up by locals as a direct attack against their religion. We wanted to avoid such incidents,” Raut added.
He said that the party had informed the Powai Police prior to entering the campus in order to avoid any issues.
Hindustan Times’s calls and text messages to IIT-B officials, as well as representatives of Mood-I, went unanswered till the time of going to press.