Chandigarh: She may have turned heads with her appearance as a cricket anchor but model-cum-actress Mandira Bedi's "extra innings" with a Sikh religious symbol has raked up a storm in the Sikh-dominated Punjab.
Anti-Mandira protests were held in Ludhiana and other cities in the state after she appeared on Tuesday on the ramp with a Sikh religious symbol tattooed on her bare back.
Mandira sported the tattoo of Ekom Kar (God is one) in Gurmukhi. These are the first words of the holy Sikh scripture - the Granth Sahib.
Youth Akali Dal workers held protests on the streets of industrial city Ludhiana and burnt an effigy of Mandira in a busy market there on Wednesday to denounce her action.
In the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, Shiromani Gurudwarat Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) - the mini-parliament of Sikh religion - expressed its displeasure over Mandira using the Sikh religious symbol on her body for fashion modelling.
"This action is anti-Sikh and has hurt the sentiments of millions of Sikhs. She should tender a public apology for this," SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said in a statement.
Mandira, who has mostly lived in Mumbai, is a Sikh.
She had generated controversy three years ago after she gave Sikh names to her two pet dogs saying they were her family members.
After protests from the Sikh community, she had tendered an apology.
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> Denigration of Hindu Deities