Police brought artist to put moustache, hair on Asura idol: ABHM leader

  • | Monday | 3rd October, 2022

Kolkata, Oct 3 (PTI) A day after a controversy erupted over the installation of a Mahishasura idol that resembled Mahatma Gandhi at a Durga puja here, its organisers, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, said that the police brought an artist and made some changes to the figurine in view of the furore.Even as the clamour grew louder in the city and elsewhere for action against those responsible behind instituting a Mahisashura idol that had a bald head and was dressed in a white dhoti and round glasses, ABHM state working president Chandrachur Goswami said no police action has been taken against them so far."The police got an artist to remove spectacles, put a moustache and hair on the asura," Sundargiri Maharaj, the president of the state unit of the ABHM, said.No reaction from the police was available on the claim made by the ABHM leader.The organisers of the puja, near Ruby Crossing, had on Sunday said that the similarities were "coincidental".The ABHM had also said then that it changed the appearance of the idol following instructions from the police.The small pandal, bereft of any decoration, quite unlike what one finds at a Durga Puja pandal in Kolkata, wore an almost-deserted look on Monday afternoon with only around seven to eight organisers present inside.Saffron- and yellow-coloured cloth wrapped around bamboo poles were used to make the very modest pandal on a service road beside the Eastern Metropolitan bypass, which many people seemed to have given a miss.The Mahisashura idol now sports a moustache and hair, though it still holds a wooden stick in its left hand."We had not made the asura with Mahatma Gandhi in mind, it is that some people found the idol to resemble him," Goswami told PTI, standing outside the pandal at the busy Ruby Crossing.Parties, cutting across political lines, have denounced the depiction.The Congress on Monday sought arrest of those responsible for instituting the Gandhi-lookalike idol in place of Mahishasura.Soumya Aich, the Congress West Bengal unit media cell president, said that complaints have been lodged with the police regarding the depiction."One complaint has been lodged at Titagarh police station in North 24 Parganas, and the other at Shakespeare Sarani police station in Kolkata," he said.The Congress leader claimed that it was an act of "shame" for the whole world."It is an attempt to create divisions by an organisation which has been trying to split the country on religious lines; we condemn the act in the strongest terms," Aich said.The BJP has also castigated the representation of Mahisashura at the marquee."If such a move has been made, it is unfortunate. We condemn it. This is in poor taste," state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar has said.The ruling Trinamool Congress said such depiction amounted to sacrilege."It is an insult to the Father of the Nation. It is an insult to every citizen of the country," its spokesperson Kunal Ghosh added.Expressing anguish, CPI(M) state general secretary Mohd Salim said that Gandhiji"s role in the country"s Independence is undeniable."He was killed by Hindutvavadis and now his ideals are being murdered every day," the party"s mouthpiece said quoting Salim. PTI AMR RMS RMS

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