File Photo
Uproar Over RGV's 'Blasphemous' Remarks on Ganesh
send via whatsapp

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma stirred a controversy today, the first day of the 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival, with a string of tweets about the elephant God, drawing condemnation for his "blasphemous" remarks and provoking demands for police action against him.

As his twitter posts triggered an outrage, Varma took to the micro-blogging website to tender an apology.

The 52-year-old producer and director, who apart from questioning the ability of Ganesha to remove obstacles from the path of his devotees, made fun of his physical attributes.

Varma's comments drew strong reactions from leaders across the political divide.

While Shaina N C of the BJP called it "blasphemous and insensitive", Congress' former MP from Mumbai Sanjay Nirupam demanded police action against him for violating the law of the land.

"This is blasphemous and insensitive. He should not resort to such cheap sensationalism," Shaina said, calling the tweets "incredible absurdity" and seeking an apology from Varma.

"He has hurt the religious sentiments of the people. We have great faith in Ganesh. Nobody has the right to make such statements.

"Ram Gopal Varma has not been able to give a hit film in a long time. He wants to remain in the news and so is making such statements. As he has violated the law of the land, police must take action against him," Nirupam said, adding "he (Varma) is known for such publicity stunts".

Prem Shukla of the Shiv Sena described Varma's twitter comments as an "insult" to the "cultural and religious ethos" of Maharashtrians at a time when they were celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi.

He also questioned the timing of the tweets. "His comments at this time are intentional and merit criminal action against him. This is a cheap and dirty way to be in the news. This will create social disharmony," Shukla said.

As the director-producer faced an avalanche of criticism, he, in another twitter post said," All tweets I put on Ganesha were in my usual manner but unintended by me to hurt anyone's sentiments...But if they did I sincerely apologize."

Varma, who gave films like Satya, Shool and Rangeela, had triggered a major controversy when he accompanied the then Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and his actor son Ritiesh to the Taj Hotel after the 26/11 terror attack. He was said to have gone there to plan a film on the terror assault.

The visit had created a nationwide outcry and ultimately led to Deshmukh's resignation.

Varma denied that he had plans to make a film but eventually came up with a movie titled The Attacks of 26/11 in 2013.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
Follow us on Twitter for all updates, like us on Facebook for important and fun stuff
Translate into:
© Copyright PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of any PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
send via whatsapp

Post a Comment
Share your thoughts
You are not logged in, please log in or register
Must See
Daily Mail

Aug 31, 2014
07:38 AM

Thank You! RSM

Pramod, Tucson
Aug 30, 2014
11:30 PM

"Freedom of  Expression is suppose to offend others. If we are stopped from offending others, citing 'hurting their feelings' than the concept of FoE becomes useless. "

Absolutely. If there is no disagreement on what people say, Freedom of Expression becomes redundant. This law not only protect but encourage people to excerise free speech right. But the government, police and judciary are doing exactly opposite by ganging up with RSS and shiv sena. 

Rajesh, Phoenix
Aug 30, 2014
01:24 PM

" Freedom of  Expression is suppose to offend others. If we are stopped from offending others, citing 'hurting their feelings' than the concept of FoE becomes useless."

Fully agree. Calling it blasphemous is semitising the Hindu tradition of openness. 

Let us not forget that RGV asks questions out of ignorance, just like a child (let us give him the benefit of doubt and ignore the possibility of malice). I shall try, with my admittedly inadequate understanding of Hinduism, to answer those queries.

1. How can someone unable to save his own head, save others? - Even the best of soldiers can die on the battlefield. Does it detract from their ability to protect us?

Ganesh is an aspect of God and not the Supreme God. He will be always subservirnt to the will of the Almighty.

2. Remover of obstacles. Just as an elephant can overcome obstacles that are insurmountable to others, self belief gives us the power to overcome the hurdles we come across in our lives.

Lack of confidence is our biggest obstacle and by invoking Ganesha, we are able to awaken our latent strengths to handle the problems as they come.

3. Why the head of the elephant?

What is unique about the elephant head is its trunk, which is a combination of  is a gnyanendriya (sensory instrument) and a karmendriya (instrument of work). The trunk symbolises reason - recieve sensory input, process it and then act upon it.

The large ears represent winnows which separate chaff from the grain, the mind which analyses sensory inputs by intellect to separate truth from falsehood. Ganesha is the Lord of Buddhi or reasoning power.

4. Why does he ride a mouse?

A mouse represents the mind - capricious and wayward, seeking sensory pleasures. Ganesha controls the mind and uses it to go where the Buddhi tells it to go, not where it wants to go.

Hindu symbology is esoteric and loaded with meaning. Everything has a meaning which is not accessible to most. Nothing is what it appears to be. 

Only those who don't have answers get offended by impertinent questions. Hinduism gives you the freedom to think, to understand and learn. If one is unable to appreciate certain aspects, one is free to question it or reject it.

Jesus had said, "Forgive them, Father, they know not what they are doing." Let us treat the RGVs of this world in a similar manner. Banning and coercion is against the spirit of our great religion.

Visakhapatnam, India
Aug 30, 2014
10:51 AM

Freedom of  Expression is suppose to offend others. If we are stopped from offending others, citing 'hurting their feelings' than the concept of FoE becomes useless. RGV has every right to say anything and people who feel they are hurt, they should also have every right to respond him in any way they deem correct. 

Mohan, Adiipur
Aug 30, 2014
09:54 AM

First of all, there is no concept of blasphemy in Hinduism. I am all for FOE - let Periyar garland Lord Ram with chappals even though I may not like it. But the problem arises when same bunch of hypocrites become 'oh so sensitive' about other religions but use Hinduism as a football to show their liberal views. When such things happen, Hindus will see to it that FOE goes outt of the window.

RSM, Delhi
Order by

Order by

Order by


OUTLOOK TOPICS:    a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   
Or just type in a few initial letters of a topic: