Student of MSU, Gujarat, Booked for ‘Objectionable’ Artwork at Exhibition

The artwork was prepared by pasting newspaper clippings of rape in the form of cut-outs of Gods and Goddesses.

2 min read
Hindi Female

The Gujarat Police has registered a case against a fine arts student for allegedly depicting Hindu gods and goddesses in an 'objectionable' way.

The student, Kundan Kumar Mahato, originally from Bihar, is currently studying in the sculpture department of Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara in Gujarat. Protests by right-wing groups broke out after the art installation, with protesters saying that the installation was "distasteful and hurtful to religious sentiments."

What Was Yadav's Artwork About? 

The artwork that the protesters objected to was one that was prepared by pasting newspaper clippings of rape in the form of cut-outs of gods and goddesses.

The newspaper clippings were about crimes against women, particularly rape. The other artwork was a photo collage of the Ashoka pillar positioned in an ‘obscene manner.’

According to The Indian Express, Kundan has been booked under sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intending to outrage religious feelings) and 298 (uttering word or sound with deliberate intent to wound another person’s religious sentiment).


Events Leading to FIR

The annual installation was to take place on Friday, 6 May. According to The Indian Express, a large group had barged into the hall that was yet to be opened to the public. They cornered the dean, Dr Jayaram Poduval, who said that the artwork in question was not part of the exhibition.

"We do not know where these frames have come from. They were not part of our evaluation submissions… They have been planted here and this protest is a conspiracy against the faculty."
Dean Jayaram Poduval told the media.

The protesters pressed the faculty to take action. The protesters vandalised some of the faculty’s furniture when they defended the exhibition. The police then arrived to disperse the crowd. Even then, the protesters chanted slogans, calling students ‘separatists.’ The Vadodara city police had deployed two units to maintain law and order.

On 6 May, the university's vice-chancellor, Dr Vijay Kumar Srivastava, constituted a nine-member fact-finding committee to probe the matter.

The FIR had been filed by Jaswantsinh Raulji, a student of the same faculty, who accused Kundan of creating artwork of newspaper cuttings in the form of gods and goddesses.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

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Topics:  Gujarat Police   Artwork   Art exhibition 

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