Play insulting Hindu deities staged at Pondicherry University, ABVP launches protest

On Friday (29th March), the Department of Performing Arts of Pondicherry University staged a play in the annual cultural festival Ezhini 2K24. However, the play insulted Hindu deities including Goddess Sita and Lord Hanuman. The ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) protested against this in the university on 30th March. A statement in this regard was also issued by the student organisation on 31st March.

In an X post of ABVP Tamil Nadu, it was mentioned that the play showed Sita offering beef to Ravana and distorted Hanumanji’s character. The play also depicted Sita not objecting to her abduction by Ravana, and then it showed her dancing with Ravana, and. Massive protests were held by the outfit in the university campus against this play. ABVP posted, “ABVP PU Students protested against the recent incident held on 29th March 2024 at a fest organised by DPA, Pondicherry University Ezhini 2K24, where a play mockery of the Ramayana, including depicting Sita offering beef to Ravana and distorting Hanumanji’s character.”

In a statement, the ABVP said, “The ABVP Pondicherry University vehemently condemns the disgraceful incident that occurred during Ezhini 2K24, a department fest of the Department of Performing Arts, held on March 29, 2024. The event took a distressing turn when a play titled “SOMAYANAM” was staged, portraying a distorted and disrespectful depiction of characters from the revered epic, Ramayana.”

It added, “The drama depicted Sita’s character as “Geeta” dancing with “Ravana” portrayed as “Bhavana.” Shockingly, the portrayal included Sita offering beef to Ravana, and during the scene of Sita’s kidnapping, she was shown uttering, “I’m married, but we can be friends.” Such flagrant disregard for the sanctity of the Ramayana and its characters is deeply offensive and disrespectful to the beliefs of millions of people who hold this epic in the highest regard.”

ABVP further said in the statement, “This malicious act to present Ramayanam is a well-planned act by Communist and Left-led outfits on the Pondicherry University campus. Communist and Left-led outfits deliberately wanted to malign Lord Ram and question the sanctity of Maa Sita for which they had charted this play. Furthermore, in another disturbing scene, Hanumanji, portrayed as “Kanjaneya,” was subjected to mockery, with his tail depicted as an antenna used for communication with Lord Rama. These grievous acts not only ridicule the revered characters of Hindu Dharma but also incite communal disharmony by demeaning the beliefs and sentiments of the majority community.”

ABVP added, “ABVP firmly believes in the principle of freedom of expression but asserts that this freedom must be exercised responsibly, with due respect for religious beliefs and cultural sensitivities. While creative expression is encouraged, it should never be at the expense of hurting religious sentiments or fostering communal discord.”

ABVP further mentioned, “In light of this reprehensible incident, ABVP Pondicherry University demands swift and decisive action from the administration of Pondicherry University: 1. Immediate dismissal of the writer and director of the drama, Pushparaj (MPA 1st year), and the actors involved, namely Mithun Krishna, SreeParvathy, Adithya Baby and Vishakh Bhasi to serve as a deterrent against future instances of religious mockery and disrespect. 2. Stringent disciplinary action against Dr. Sharvanan Velu, Head of the Department of Performing Arts and other faculty (who else are involved), for overseeing and permitting the production of the offensive drama.”

Concluding its statement, the Hindu student organisation said, “ABVP stands unwaveringly in defence of the sanctity of beliefs and cultural heritage for all religions and thus demands the administration of Pondicherry University to take immediate against the Urban Naxals of Pondicherry University for fouling the greatest literature of Indian Culture Ramayanam to restore faith in the Pondicherry University’s commitment to tolerance, respect and diversity.”

Source: OpIndia

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