Shiv Sena forces Mood Indigo organisers to remove Hanuman mural, write apology

After protests from Shiv Sena, the organisers of the annual cultural festival Mood Indigo, have erased a mural bearing "close" resemblance to Hindu deity Hanuman, reports said.

The mural, painted on a wall of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay campus, was removed after members of the political party Shiv Saina entered the campus on Monday demanding an immediate removal of the mural. The Shiv Sainiks also forced the administration to apologise for the murals and forced the students’ council, which organised the cultural fest to give a written apology.

 Shiv Sena forces Mood Indigo organisers to remove Hanuman mural, write apology

Representational image. PTI

The mural, touted as a geeky "modern Lord Hanuman", depicts him carrying a mountain in one hand and a pen instead of mace on the other, and shows him dressed in shorts with smart watches, earphones, etc, something the Shiv Sena found in "bad taste". The cultural festival presented several murals as part of one of the events.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Sena leader Datta Dalvi, who along with MLA Sunil Raut had reportedly directed the Sena workers to visit the campus and demand its removal, said, "The painting was in bad taste. It hurt the religious sentiments of many people. This is not the way to the portray a Hindu deity like Hanuman. Students should not have portrayed the deity like that.”

The Times of India quoted local Sena leader Nilesh Salunkhe as saying, "The painter took the liberty to distort Hanuman's image with the Sanjeevani Parvat and it was insulting. The painting had Hanuman holding a pen, wearing shorts, knee pads, headphones, watches, a tie and spectacles. It also showed him wearing a slipper and a shoe. And the tail was replaced with the saffron flag. We found it derogatory," said Salunkhe.

The wall depicting the controversial mural was reportedly whitewashed after the Shiv Sena leaders threatened to stall the festival until the painting was removed. The festival wrapped up on Monday.

Incidentally, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavais was one of the keynote speakers at the cultural festival on Monday.

Initially, the organisers agreed to cover it. "When we insisted on getting it removed, they whitewashed the wall and gave us an apology letter," Salunkhe told The Times of India.

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Updated Date: Dec 27, 2016 10:45:51 IST