The Week apologises after FIR in UP for publishing artwork of Hindu deities

A day after the Uttar Pradesh Police registered a first information report against the editor and the management of The Week for publishing an artwork about Hindu deities Shiva and Kali, the magazine on Friday apologised for “hurting the sentiments of its readers.”

The published image is a Kangra miniature painting from the early nineteenth century that is now in the collection of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, according to artist Shuddhabrata Sengupta.

The Kotwali Police in Kanpur filed a case against The Week on Thursday following a complaint by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Prakash Sharma, who accused the editors and the management of hurting Hindu sentiments, PTI reported.

The FIR was registered under Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code.

On Thursday, Bibek Debroy, who heads the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a columnist of The Week, wrote to the magazine Editor Philip Mathew saying he was ending his association with The Week because of the painting chosen for his column about Kali.

He wrote: “It was published in the 24th July, 2022 issue, under the title ‘A tongue of fire’. There is an accompanying picture, of a tantra-based painting. There is a very tenuous link between the content of the article and the picture. I can think of many better depictions of Kali. This picture was deliberately chosen to titillate and provoke.”

A day after, The Week Editor-in-Charge VS Jayaschandran said that there was “an unfortunate error of judgement” in publishing what he described was an inappropriate illustration of Shiva and Kali.

“We solemnly affirm that there was no mischievous or malevolent intent behind it. We are genuinely sorry that it has hurt the sentiments of many of our readers and others. We humbly offer our sincere apologies for publishing the illustration and have since removed it from our website,” he said.