Even Goddess Durga has period? Artwork puts Mumbai artist in trouble
Mumbai, Oct 3: Durga Puja is approaching and just weeks before it takes off, India has witnessed yet another controversy over "hurting religious sentiments". Mumbai-based concept artist Aniket Mitra recently posted one of his artworks on Facebook showing a bloody lotus on a sanitary napkin and the moral police pounced upon on him.
Mitra was abused on social media for his artwork and even his family was targeted. Mitra took a gender-neutral side saying his wife could not take part in "Ashtami Anjali" (offerings to Goddess Durga on the eighth day of the festival) if her period is on but for men there is no such restriction. "My artwork was an attempt at understanding how infuriating it can be for all women," Mitra told InUth.
Mitra was abused for showing that the Goddess mother also undergoes menstruation and he sees it to be a case of gross hypocrisy. "Isn't it hypocritical that we treat Ma Durga as our daughter, but we can't accept a natural process that all daughters go through? Who are we really shielding when we become so angry about talking about gods and menstruation. Celebrating the menstrual cycle of a goddess at the Kamakhya Temple every year is convenient, but this is not?" he asked.
Mitra said he was unable to make people understand the point he was trying to make. "People have even threatened me and tried to blame for trying to gain publicity with my artwork. That was not my intention. I just wanted to start a discourse on normalising periods. I just had faith that if we can celebrate movies like Pad Man, then what's the problem in openly talking about it? But we're clearly not ready for it," he said.
A complaint was posted on the Facebook page of Kolkata Police and the artwork was withdrawn from the social media platform 24 hours after the complaint was lodged.