'Sita Offers Beef To Ravana...' Pondicherry University Faces Backlash For Controversial Play

'Sita Offers Beef To Ravana...' Pondicherry University Faces Backlash For Controversial Play

Pondicherry University faces backlash for controversial play involving Hindu deities. ABVP demands action against those responsible for disrespecting religious beliefs.

Megha ChowdhuryUpdated: Monday, April 01, 2024, 01:07 PM IST
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The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has criticized the Department of Performing Arts at Puducherry University for allegedly disrespecting religious beliefs. In response, the ABVP in Tamil Nadu organized a protest against the university over the weekend.

Sharing on X, the ABVP group said, "ABVP PU Students protested against the recent incident held on 29th March 2024 at a fest organised by DPA, puducherry University Ezhini 2K24, where a play mockery of the Ramayana, including depicting Sita offering beef to Ravana and distorting Hanumanji’s character."

In a statement, the ABVP said, “The ABVP Pondicherry University vehemently condemns the disgraceful incident that occurred during Ezhini 2K24, a department fest of the Department of Performing Arts, held on March 29, 2024. The event took a distressing turn when a play titled “SOMAYANAM” was staged, portraying a distorted and disrespectful depiction of characters from the revered epic, Ramayana.”

It added, “The drama depicted Sita’s character as “Geeta” dancing with “Ravana” portrayed as “Bhavana.” Shockingly, the portrayal included Sita offering beef to Ravana, and during the scene of Sita’s kidnapping, she was shown uttering, “I’m married, but we can be friends.” Such flagrant disregard for the sanctity of the Ramayana and its characters is deeply offensive and disrespectful to the beliefs of millions of people who hold this epic in the highest regard.”

“This malicious act to present Ramayanam is a well-planned act by Communist and Left-led outfits on the Pondicherry University campus. Communist and Left-led outfits deliberately wanted to malign Lord Ram and question the sanctity of Maa Sita for which they had charted this play. Furthermore, in another disturbing scene, Hanumanji, portrayed as “Kanjaneya,” was subjected to mockery, with his tail depicted as an antenna used for communication with Lord Rama. These grievous acts not only ridicule the revered characters of Hindu Dharma but also incite communal disharmony by demeaning the beliefs and sentiments of the majority community," ABVP added.

“ABVP firmly believes in the principle of freedom of expression but asserts that this freedom must be exercised responsibly, with due respect for religious beliefs and cultural sensitivities. While creative expression is encouraged, it should never be at the expense of hurting religious sentiments or fostering communal discord.”

ABVP further mentioned, “In light of this reprehensible incident, ABVP Pondicherry University demands swift and decisive action from the administration of Pondicherry University: 1. Immediate dismissal of the writer and director of the drama, Pushparaj (MPA 1st year), and the actors involved, namely Mithun Krishna, SreeParvathy, Adithya Baby and Vishakh Bhasi to serve as a deterrent against future instances of religious mockery and disrespect. 2. Stringent disciplinary action against Dr. Sharvanan Velu, Head of the Department of Performing Arts and other faculty (who else are involved), for overseeing and permitting the production of the offensive drama.”

In its final statement, the Hindu student organization expressed, “ABVP stands unwaveringly in defence of the sanctity of beliefs and cultural heritage for all religions and thus demands the administration of Pondicherry University to take immediate against the Urban Naxals of Pondicherry University for fouling the greatest literature of Indian Culture Ramayanam to restore faith in the Pondicherry University’s commitment to tolerance, respect and diversity.”

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