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Hindutva activists see red in swachh art

A year since sculptor Bhupesh Kavadia’s art work using toilet pots to spread awareness of the need for sanitation was misconstrued as the depiction of the Hindu deity Ganesha on toilet pots, the 46-year-old sculptor has appealed to the judiciary at all levels to avoid being arrested.

The Udaipur-based sculptor was entangled in a mesh of controversies when he exhibited his installations on sanitation where he used toilet pots to depict deaths due to poor sanitation and hygiene. Some groups including the Jaipur-based Brahman Mahasabha Yuva Prakoshtha and the Jan Samasya Nivaran Manch vandalised his installations stating that Mr Kavadia had insulted Ganesha through his toilet pot art work.

One of the pioneers of the Jaipur Art Summit, Vinod Bharadwaj, said, “From no angle did the installations resemble Ganesha. It was appalling that the controversy erupted on the installations that had already been exhibited in New Delhi before they were brought to the Second Jaipur Art Summit [last year].”

Not only did the groups demolish the installations, they also filed an FIR against Mr Kavadia under Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code (defiling any object held sacred by any class of persons) which is a non-bailable offence.

Mr Kavadia told The Hindu , “When the mob vandalised my art work in front of the police and the media, I understood that in our country the mob is above the law.”

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Printable version | Oct 3, 2022 4:35:16 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hindutva-activists-see-red-in-swachh-art/article7934697.ece