Hindu outfit forces artist to take painting off exhibition #Censorship #FOE


, TNN | Apr 9, 2013,

Hindu outfit forces artist to take painting off exhibition
Painter Eleena Banik had painted Goddess Kali without the usual garland of skulls and another of Goddess Durga wearing a fig leaf cover of strawberries.
MUMBAI: Activists of the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS) Saturday forced a Kolkata-based painter to remove two canvases depicting Hindu goddesses in the nude. The Jehangir Art Gallerythat was hosting the exhibition, as well as officers of Colaba police station, urged her to comply in the interest of peace.

Painter Eleena Banik had painted Goddess Kali without the usual garland of skulls and another of Goddess Durga wearing a fig leaf cover of strawberries. “As an artist I retain the freedom to interpret my culture. Those who object to my art, or of M F Husain and Akbar Padamsee, have not read Hindu mythology where our deities are depicted nude. I drew Durga this way to empower women after the Delhi gangrape,” she said.

Banik accused Varsha Thakar of the HJS of “threatening her” and “forcibly taking photographs” of the paintings. “She arrived at the gallery on Saturday and asked why I had painted cherries on the figure of a female Hindu deity. I pointed out that they were strawberries and cited my rights as an artist to draw things the way I see them. I could draw a tree in violet colour and nobody could object,” she said. Thakar telephoned Colaba police station and senior police inspector Vinod Sawant arrived and requested Banik to remove the artworks for public peace. Thakar said, “We are not against artistic freedom but would like to know what connection can be drawn between the gangrape victim and a goddess. Why is it that artists take liberty with certain communities and are careful not to hurt others.” Shivaji Vatkar of HJS said they would move court if Banik didn’t remove the pictures from her website.

Banik countered she had shown the Kali painting in India and in London without incident.

Incidentally Jehangir Art Gallery had urged her to remove a painting on the opening day of the exhibition on April 2. Gallery director K G Menon said, “We are mindful to not display artworks that can offend people’s religious sensibilities.Our staff found the canvas of Durga offensive and because children and senior citizens alike visit the gallery, we urged her to take it down. She chose not to do so, and on April 6, the HJS arrived to object.”

Inspector Sanjeev Mandlik of Colaba said the matter was “sorted out” between the artist and protestors.

“The painter felt she had the right to express herself while the HJS argued that self-expression did not include the right to offend religious sensibilities. We requested her to remove the artworks and she did,” Mandlik said.

 

Punjab- ‘Jalandhar police is to be shamed’- National Commission for SC/ST chides SSP Yurinder Singh Hayer


Friday, March, 15 2013 – 21:39

By Anil Dogra– Punjabnewsline 

JALANDHAR: After Tarn Taran incident of beating a girl in full public view by the police, the act of attacking a dalit family in Kalyanpur village under Lambra police station during the night hours targeting village dalit Sarpanch Iqbal Singh and his wife Rajni brought shame to the Jalandhar rural police.

Iqbal Singh along with more than 200 people of the village including women reached the circuit house to narrate wrath of the police they earned for protesting inhuman behaviour meted out to Kali at the hands of Lambra police.

Dr. Raj Kumar Verka, Vice Chairman of the National Commission for SC/ST in India recorded the statements of the Sarpanch, his wife and others. Kali told the commission that he was forced to drink urine in a leather shoe at the police station. He had gone there to make a complaint against a youth of the village who was chasing her mother with a dagger. Instead of extending an helping hand to him, he was forced to sit in the police station and detained for more than two days without any fault.

Dr. Verka chided the SSP Yurinder Singh Hayer saying that the offence to force any person to drink urine was non-bailable and if the police resort to such tactics to harass dalits, then the commission would have to take action on its own.

He directed the SSP to immediate lodge an FIR against the erring police officials and reports the matter with action taken report (ATR) to the commission with in seven days.

The SSP assured the commission that the erring police officials would not be spared.

Parkash Singh Garhdiwala, senior member of the State Commission for SC/ST also summoned the SSP and other police officials to seek explanation on the matter and directed the police authorities to take stern action the wrong doers.

 

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