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'Dressing up is no crime, not blasphemous': Assam CM Himanta Sarma after cops arrest man dressed as Lord Shiva

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma chastised the police on Sunday for detaining a guy disguised as Lord Shiva in Assam. He stated that dressing up is not illegal unless obscene material or improper language is utilised.

Dressing up is no crime not blasphemous Assam CM Himanta Sarma after cops arrest man dressed as Lord Shiva gcw
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Assam, First Published Jul 10, 2022, 5:30 PM IST

Following a dispute over a documentary filmmaker's depiction of the Hindu Goddess Kaali, a similar situation appears to have arisen in Assam. After receiving complaints from Hindu organisations, one performer disguised as Shiva and a fellow actress protested price increases and other concerns. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma chastised the police on Sunday for detaining a guy disguised as Lord Shiva in Assam. He stated that dressing up is not illegal unless obscene material or improper language is utilised.

Taking to the Twitter, Sarma said, "I agree with you  @NavroopSingh_ that  Nukad Natak on current issues is not blasphemous. Dressing up is not a crime unless offensive material is said.  Appropriate order has been issued to  @nagaonpolice."

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Earlier, a man was detained in Assam on suspicion of infringing on religious feelings while costumed as Lord Shiva in a street performance. Meanwhile, ANI reported that he has been given bail. The issue began when a man and a woman costumed as Shiva and Parvati took the bike to the streets to protest rising gasoline, food, and other commodity costs. Riding a bike, the couple arrived at Nagaon's College Chowk and made a play about the vehicle running out of petrol. 

What followed was a debate between Shiva and Parvati on the topic, during which 'Shiva' began to criticise the Modi government for rising gasoline prices and other issues. He urged the population to demonstrate against the Narendra Modi administration in order to prevent increasing costs.

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Parismita Das, who plays Parvati, discussed why the couple chose to perform the role. "Normally, people do not pay attention to awareness rallies, and staging a demonstration requires a lot of planning. As a result, we chose to depict the topic in a more appealing manner that people would understand and be interested in," she said, according to various media reports.

While the duo claims that the 'artistic protest' was done just to draw attention to the situation at hand, actor Brinicha Bora, who played Shiva, was later held by local authorities for questioning. This followed threats from Hindu organisations against such 'bad' depictions of the deities.

The performers travelled to Bada Bazar and performed a similar street drama. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal were also drawn to the act. They condemned the stunt and accused the teenagers of offending Hindu feelings. A complaint was subsequently filed against the acting couple — Birinchi Bora and Karishma — at the Nagaon Sadar police station.

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