Updated: December 27, 2016 12:52:26 pm
A PAINTING bearing resemblance to the Hindu deity Hanuman had to be erased from a wall at the Indian Institute of Technology, Powai, following objections from Shiv Sena. The painting, a part of the institute’s ongoing annual cultural fest, Mood Indigo, was deemed “inappropriate” by the Sena, which sought an apology from the event organisers. On Monday, the painting was erased after local Sena workers marched into the campus and demanded its removal.
Among several wall-paintings at the institute’s student activity centre, was one of a man carrying a mountain in one hand and holding a pen instead of a mace in the other.
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While organisers of the fest remained tight-lipped about the incident, stall owners at the adjacent food court and visitors said an argument ensued over the painting on Monday morning.
Shiv Sena leaders said they got to know about the depiction of the Hindu deity late on Sunday. Local Sena activists went to the IIT campus on Monday morning, following directions from local MLA Sunil Raut and Sena leader Datta Dalvi.
“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,” said Dalvi.
Nilesh Salunkhe, the local shakha pramukh of Sena, said they would not allow the event to continue until the controversial painting was removed, adding he met members of the students’ council over the issue.
Subsequently, the police bandobast was increased on the campus in the afternoon.
“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,” Salunkhe said.
Student coordinator Akhil Dhoot, who signed the letter of apology, refused to comment, adding it was a “petty issue”.
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