Activists of the Shiv Sena on Monday forced the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay to remove a painting of a modern interpretation of Hindu deity Hanuman, alleging that it hurt the religious sentiments of many. “The painting was in bad taste,” party leader Datta Dalvi told The Indian Express. “Students should not have portrayed the deity like that.”
The wall painting – made as part of IIT-B’s annual cultural festival Mood Indigo – showed Hanuman flying with the mythical Gandhamadana Mountain that grew the life-saving Sanjivani herbs in one hand and holding a pen in the other instead of his mace. It also portrayed him in shorts with an iPod strapped to his arm, his crown was replaced with headphones and a local train instead of his tail.
“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, told Hindustan Times. “This is a mockery of someone’s religious beliefs and could have been picked up by locals as a direct attack against their religion.”
Shiv Sainiks were reportedly apprised of the painting the previous night, after which they went to the campus on Raut and Dalvi’s instructions. Local Sena leader Nilesh Salunkhe said they had refused to leave the campus till the administration issued a written apology for the artwork.
Raut said the Sena had informed the Powai Police before entering the institute’s campus to avoid trouble. Consequently, the painting had to be whitewashed, according to The Times of India.