Udupi, Mar 15: A group of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists blocked the installation of comedy legend Charlie Chaplin's statue in Udupi of Karnataka saying it would hurt 'Hindu' sentiment.
The statue was erected for the shooting of Kannada movie 'Housefull' by Hemant Hegde and was meant for a song sequence. Later Udupi Hindu Jagarna Vedike (a local group affiliated to BJP) leader Suresh Bhagwadi and his team of activists stopped the film crew from going ahead claiming that the land on which the statue is being erected belonged to the Someshwara temple saying that the team does not have permission. He said erecting Chaplin's statue who is a Christian will hurt Hindu sentiments, instead should erect statue of Swami Vivekananda.
But the film director claims to have sought permission from the local administration for the construction. Udupi Deputy Commissioner Hemalatha admitted that Hegde and his team had discussed the shooting schedule and had sought permission for the statue.
It seems moral policing is gaining its roots in Karnataka. After the Mangalore pub attack, disruption of valentine's day its now Charlie Chaplin the Hindu Brigade's new target claiming Chaplin a 'Christian and not Indian'. With no stringent measures and government apathy what seems farcical today could become tragically real tomorrow.