A Catholic minority institution, Loyola College, which is based in Chennai, India, is set to face a lawsuit which was filed against it by Bharatiya Janata Party, for using anti-Hindu, anti-central government paintings in a cultural event which was held in its premises.
Among the paintings which were used in the event was one which depicted Bharat Mata as sexual harassment. Bharat Mata is a national representation of India as a mother goddess, which is usually represented by an Indian lady wearing a saffron sari while holding the Indian national flag and a lion standing with her. The event held in the college depicted this as a sexual harassment
The college offered an apology, saying that they accept their lapse and regret having caused such insurmountable hurt against the government and all those of the Hindu religion.
They went on with their apology saying, “We are deeply pained, saddened and equally anguished that the venue to conduct a cultural event Veethi Virundhu Vizha, held on 19th and 20th Jan 2019, has been misused for exhibits against a particular religious group, social institution, political party, and the country’s leadership,”
The college also mentioned their acceptance and appreciation of the pluralism within the country.
Apparently, the college was not aware of the paintings until it was brought to their attention and they responded by quickly bringing them down.
However, despite their quick response and apology, Bharatiya Janata Party together with other right-hand parties are still not satisfied and feel that the college should not go scot-free with a mere apology. For this reason, the party has forwarded a complaint to the police against the college. Besides the complaint, the college also received condemnation from the party’s Tamil Nadu President, Tamilisai Soundararajan.
The president was also not pleased with the silence of major political figures about the issue. She stated that were the paintings against another group, then leaders like Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Chief M.K Stalin and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam who is the general secretary Vaiko would have reacted, and they would have caused a major hue. Their silence on the matter was, therefore, not taken well by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Other allegedly offensive paintings were those about Trishul, which is a symbol of Hinduism. The painting related it to violence against women. Additionally, other paintings had strong connotation against the political undercurrent. Besides Bharatiya Janata Party, they also showed the prime minister in a bad light, depicting him as a hegemonic and a Hindu deity.