Loyola College apologises for controversial paintings

One of the paintings in the exhibition. (Credit: Twitter)

Loyola College, one of the prestigious educational institutions in the country, on Monday, apologised for displaying paintings that depicted Hindu gods, Bharat Mata and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a “derogatory manner” at a festival held on its campus.

The paintings, which according to BJP leaders were “poor in taste” and “derogatory in nature”, were displayed during Veethi Virudhu Vizha held on the college campus on Saturday and Sunday. The paintings that targeted the RSS, BJP, Modi and also depicted Hindu gods and the Bharat Mata in a “derogatory manner” drew condemnation from a cross-section of people after some of them were shared on the social media.

The BJP immediately swung into action by deputing its controversial face, H Raja, to file a formal police complaint against the organisers for “hurting the sentiments of Hindus across the world.” As the paintings stoked a controversy, Loyola College issued a statement apologising for displaying the paintings, which it said, have been removed immediately.

“We are deeply pained, saddened and equally anguished that the venue to conduct a cultural event, Veethi Virudhu Vizha, held on 19th & 20th Jan 2019 has been misused, our illustrious and pluralistic campus was used for derogative exhibits against a particular religious group, social institution, political party and the country’s leadership,” Dr Kaleeswaran, Coordinator, Art and Literary Unit, Loyola Students Support Services, said in a statement.

Noting that the paintings have been removed immediately the moment it was brought to the notice of the concerned, Kaleeswaran said the institution acknowledges the lapse and “sincerely apologise” for the “insurmountable hurt” it has caused.

Loyola College, which offers a variety of courses under the Arts and Science stream, is one of the prestigious institutions in the country. The college also said it does not advocate or support anything that tantamounts to disturbing the peace and tranquillity of the society.

“Loyola College is an institution of excellence that has cherished the plural values and ethos of the country with equal importance to each constituent member of the family where majority of our brethren are from the largest religious group,” the statement said.

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