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IIT-Bombay's 'derogatory' Ramayana play: 8 students fined up to Rs 1.2 lakh each staging Raahovan

The IIT-Bombay has slapped a fine of Rs 1.2 lakh on 8 students for their derogatory portrayal of the Hindu epic 'Ramayana' during the Performing Arts Festival in March. The play titled 'Raahovan' sparked controversy for its portrayal of Lord Ram and Ramayana.

IIT-Bombay's 'derogatory' Ramayana play: 8 students fined up to Rs 1.2 lakh each staging Raahovan anr
First Published Jun 20, 2024, 10:54 AM IST

At least eight students from IIT Bombay, some of whom are graduating and others are juniors, have been slapped with fines of up to Rs 1.2 lakh for putting on a play called 'Raahovan' on March 31 as part of the institution's annual performing arts festival.

After Pondicherry University, now IIT-Bombay under fire for play 'insulting' Ramayana; sparks outrage (WATCH)

During the IIT Bombay cultural festival, the play "Raahovan" staged for the Performing Arts Festival sparked controversy for its portrayal of Lord Ram and the Ramayana. The event's videos went viral on social media, renewing discussions about the balance between artistic expression and religious sensitivities.

Graduating students have been fined Rs 1.2 lakh each and will not receive any recognition for gymkhana awards. Junior students, on the other hand, have been fined Rs 40,000 each and are also barred from using hostel facilities. These actions were taken by the institute following recommendations from a disciplinary action committee in response to complaints.

The controversy arose due to the perceived mockery and disrespect towards revered Hindu deities, including Lord Ram, Goddess Sita, and other characters from the Ramayana. The play altered the names of these characters slightly and purportedly offered a "woke" and "feminist" interpretation of the ancient epic. However, many viewers found the portrayal objectionable and insensitive.

Earlier, Pondicherry University garnered attention following a controversial performance during its annual cultural festival, 'Ezhini 2k24', held on March 29.
The play titled 'Somayanam' presented objectionable and disrespectful interpretations of characters from the revered Hindu epic, the Ramayana. For instance, scenes depicted Sita Mata offering beef to Ravana and making flippant remarks about marriage, along with mocking Lord Hanuman's tail as an antenna, sparking widespread protest by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student organization affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

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