Goa

Dr Subodh Kerkar Fears for His Life After Hindu Groups Protested Against Him


From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Panaji

Panaji, Aug 18: The Internationally renowned Indian installation artist is facing threat to his life owing to his exhibition of the sketches on Lord Ganesha, a revered Hindu Elephant-headed God after Hindu right wing organizations indulged in moral policing.

Dr Subodh Kerkar, an artist based in the holiday resort state of Goa, had announced the exhibition of his sketches, which depicts Lord Ganesh in different form including the one holding Oscar award.

I have been receiving phone calls which threatens me with dire consequences. They told me that they will chop off my fingers for indulging in such act, Dr Kerkar told daijiworld from his gallery at Calangute, a beach village in North Goa.

The series of calls for the painter started when Sanatan Saustha, a hard core Hindu organization through its mouthpiece, Sanatan Prabhat carried the sketches appealing `Hindus to call up Dr Kerkar and express their anguish.

The paintings means no offence to any religion. They are my ex-pression of creativity, Dr Kerkar said. The painter said that he himself is a devotee of Lord Ganesh and has always been inspired by him.

The trouble for the painter doubled when two Hindu organizations. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and Shri Samarth Ramdas Seva Bhakti Mandal filed police complaint against the artist under section 149 of Indian Penal code, which deals with hurting the religious feelings.

We will protest at his exhibition venue, if he goes ahead with his plans. We intend to have peaceful protests but we are not responsible for any law and order problem, if it arises, HJS convenor Jayesh Thali said on Monday.

The HJS in past had held nationwide agitation against renowned painter M F Hussain accusing him of drawing paintings depicting Hindu Gods and Godesses nude.

Fearing law and order issue, the state police have issued notice to the painter asking him to desist for indulging in any act which hurts the religious sentiments.

We have told him (Dr Kerkar) to desist from any activity which will hurt religious feelings, police inspector Nolasco Raposo said.

He said that the department has sought legal opinion from directorate of prosection on the complaints filed by two organizations against Dr Kerkar. Appropriate action would be taken on receipt of legal opinion, Raposo added.


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