Picture of Hindu goddess sparks violence

March 24, 2012 by  
Filed under National, newsletter-india

West Bengal, March 22, 2012: Catholic group criticizes wisdom of printing image which could insult Hindus.

A Catholic media group has slammed a West Bengal newspaper for publishing what it calls a “denigrating” picture of a Hindu goddess which triggered violence in the state capital Kolkata.

“A responsible newspaper cannot publish such pictures even inadvertently,” Sunil Lucas, president of Signis World Catholic Association for Communication in India, said today.

In its Monday edition, The Telegraph English language daily carried a morphed picture of a naked woman holding an image of the goddess Kali in front of a cricketer — believed to be a Pakistani — bowing before it.

The newspaper had taken the picture from the twitter account of a reader.

However, its publication caused an outcry that has sparked tension and violence between the Hindu and Muslim communities in different parts of the city, despite a swift apology from the newspaper.

Hindus and Muslims have been involved in street brawls and pelted passing traffic and members of the public with stones.

Lucas said the decision to print the picture was irresponsible but it was not aimed at any particular group and did not intend to denigrate the deity.

“The religious group which felt hurt should have controlled its members from resorting to violence,” Lucas added.

He said a blanket ban has been imposed on the media regarding coverage of the violence and the city is slowly getting back to normal.

State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee yesterday appealed for communal harmony.

Kali, considered a symbol of power, is a popular Hindu goddess in the eastern Indian state.

– ucan

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