Shiv Sena workers on Monday covered a painting, which showed Hindu god Hanuman wearing western clothes and sporting gadgets, with a piece of white cloth inside the campus of Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) in Powai as they felt it was a mockery of the Hindu god.
The painting, which was a part of Mood Indigo -- IIT-B's annual cultural festival -- was deemed "inappropriate" by Shiv Sena who stormed into the campus and demanded that the painting be removed. They felt that it could cause an outrage among people and, therefore, it was necessary to remove it. The party has also sought an apology from the organisers of the event.
The painting, showing Hanuman in a modern avatar, was a creative take on his popular image of carrying the mythical Gandhamadana Mountain full of Sanjivani herbs in one hand and his mace in the other.
The painting showed Hanuman wearing a shirt, shorts and a tie and holding a pen in his hand instead of the mace. An Apple iPod was strapped to his arm, while a headphone replaced his crown and a local train replaced his tail. He was also shown wearing shoes, stockings, wrist bands, watches and sunglasses.
"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. 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," Sunil Raut, Shiv Sena MLA from Vikhroli, told the Hindustan Times.
Shiv Sena leader Datta Dalvi told the Indian Express: "The painting was in bad taste. It hurt the religious sentiments of many people. This is not the way to portray a Hindu deity like Hanuman. Students should not have portrayed the deity like that."
Shiv Sena's local shakha pramukh Nilesh Salunkhe told the IE that the "students were giving us vague answers like the painting was drawn by an artist called from outside and not by students. When we asked for the name of the artist, they didn't reveal it. The matter was resolved after the administration apologised to us and the students' council gave us a written apology stating that they will not repeat such an act for any community in future."