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FIR against magazine over 'offending pictures' of Shiva, Kali; columnist Bibek Debroy quits

Bibek Debroy, who heads the Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister, on Thursday ended his association with The Week as a columnist over a picture of the goddess Kali tagged to his article in the July 24 edition.

FIR against magazine over 'offending pictures' of Shiva, Kali; columnist Bibek Debroy quits snt
Author
Kanpur, First Published Aug 5, 2022, 5:14 PM IST

Police in Kapur have lodged an FIR against The Week amid a row over objectionable pictures of Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali that has led Hindu activists to burn copies of the magazine and economist Bibek Debroy to end his association with it.

After receiving a complaint on Thursday from former BJP state vice-president Prakash Sharma, who claimed they had offended religious sentiments, the Kotwali police in Kanpur opened an investigation against the magazine's editor and management.

Workers for the Bajrang Dal set the magazine on fire at the city's Bada Chauraha on Friday in an effort to bring the editors of the English-language publication, published by the Malayala Manorama group, to justice.

In response to a photo of the goddess Kali being tagged in his article in the July 24 edition, Bibek Debroy, the head of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, cut ties with the publication on Thursday.

Also read: Kaali poster row: Aga Khan Museum regrets causing offence to Hindus; removes documentary presentation

This is the second controversy in recent weeks over the depiction of the goddess. Last month, Canada-based filmmaker Leena Manimekalai shared a poster of her documentary that showed a woman dressed as Kali smoking a cigarette.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Pramod Kumar said a case under 295A of the Indian Penal Code had been registered in Kanpur. The section deals with deliberate malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings.

The DCP said instructions have been issued to the investigation officer to probe the charges and take appropriate action. BJP leader Prakash Sharma said the pictures published by the magazine have outraged Hindu sentiments. The editor and others responsible for this objectionable act should be dealt with an iron hand, he told PTI.

Sharma said he found an objectionable article and pictures on pages 62 and 63 of the magazine.

Earlier, in his letter to The Week editor Philip Mathew, Debroy said he is ending his association with the magazine over the illustration that accompanied his column on Kali. The picture was deliberately chosen to titillate and provoke. At least, that's the way I perceive it, he said in the letter he also posted on Twitter. 

Also read: Before Kaali, Leena Manimekalai was in midst of controversies for these films

(With inputs from PTI)

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