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Viral video of ’Saraswati idol without saree’ sparks protest at Tripura College


Mangalore Today News Network/News18

Tripura, Feb 15, 2024: Saraswati Puja celebrations at a government in Lichubagan near Tripura were marred by protests after a video of the Saraswati idol without a saree went viral on social media.

A group of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal supporters on Wednesday allegedly barged into the Government College of Art and Craft and compelled the institute authorities to drape the idol of Goddess Saraswati with a saree, news agency PTI quoted eyewitnesses as saying.

 

Tripura


According to a report in NDTV, ABVP members, citing concerns about the perceived “vulgarity”, initiated a protest that later attracted Bajrang Dal supporters. The protesters said that the idol had been crafted by students of the college.

Dibakar Acharjee, the general secretary of the ABVP unit in Tripura, spearheaded the protest, expressing strong objections to what he considered a misguided portrayal of Goddess Saraswati, the report stated.

“As we all know, today is Basant Panchami, and Goddess Saraswati is worshipped all over the country. In the very morning, we all got news that in the Government Art and Craft College, the idol of Goddess Saraswati was sculptured in a very wrong and vulgar way,” Acharjee was quoted as saying.

“As the video of Maa Saraswati without the traditional saree was circulating on social media, we rushed to the college before the puja began and forced the organisers to adorn a saree on the idol,” Tutan Das, Tripura state coordinator of Bajrang Dal, was quoted by PTI.

He further expressed strong condemnation for what he described as a deviation from the cultural and traditional values expected from students of an art and craft college.

Sourabh Das, the assistant coordinator (campaign) of VHP, also condemned the students’ actions. “We vehemently denounce the lack of decorum shown towards Devi Saraswati by the students of the Government College of Art and Craft. The VHP will not tolerate any disrespect towards Hindu deities,” he said.

Police visited the spot but no complaint was lodged by the college or the VHP and the Bajrang Dal, PTI quoted a senior officer.

NDTV report stated that ABVP, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated student body, demanded strict action against the college authority, urging Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha to intervene.

The report further stated that college authorities explained the idol adhered to traditional sculpture forms observed in Hindu temples and had no intention to offend religious sentiments.

The idol was ultimately replaced by college authorities and veiled with plastic sheets, placed behind the puja pandal, NDTV report mentioned.


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