A battle against Freedom of Expression and Religious Ideology has once again been declared. The Catholic-Christian Secular Forum (CSF), India’s apex activist community NGO, has asked for a ban on a play titled ‘Agnes of God.’ The play shows a nun who gives birth to a child and still claims to be a virgin.
The Christian outfit has raised objections against the play not only with reference to its context, but also that the play does not have Christian actors, as well as on the link of the Director and the cast with an earlier controversial play, ‘Vagina Monologue.’
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy commenting on the same said, “What is the difference between Christians and Hindus? When Ramayana was shown its script was written by a Muslim? This kind of narrow-minded approach is condemned.”
The door of the Home Ministry has also been knocked by the Church authorities and a formal letter has been sent to it demanding ban on the play. In the letter addressed to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the authorities have raised objections such as-
– Misrepresentation of Religious Belief of Christian Community.
– Wrongful portrayal of character of lakhs of our clergy.
The objection raised by the Christian outfit has caused the screening of the play which was scheduled to be on October 4, 2015 to be called off.
However, another screening which is to be held on October 5, 2015 in Marine Drive, will be held, which has been confirmed by Mahebanu Kotwal, mother of the Director Kaizad Kotwal. She told, “The show will go ahead on October 5, 2015.”
Kaizad Kotwal has claimed of getting threats by the Church authorities, due to which he has sought protection from Marine Drive Police.
Mahebanu Kotwal also expressed her displeasure and annoyance on the incident saying, “This man (Joseph Dias, Founder of CSF) is habituated to doing this. I am shocked and surprised that the Catholic Church which should encourage such a thing is doing so. It’s a must see film for all the Catholics.”
“We are getting messages from American actors asking what is happening in India. How ridiculous are we looking in front of the World, showing ourselves to be culturally and socially backward,” she told NewsX.
On the other hand, activist Tehzeen Poonawala said, “I had tickets of the show. He is only seeking publicity. Our liberty is under danger. Our forefathers have sacrificed a lot for our freedom. It’s high time we start taking stand upon this. Mr. Dias has no right to object to her play.”
On being supported by others, she was happy. “I am delighted. If you go to my Facebook, you will see the kind of support I am getting,” she claied.
One has to be very sensitive while dealing with religious issues. Also, a proper balance has to be maintained so as to avoid any controversy. But raising unnecessary objections is something, which nobody should tolerate. In fact, serious actions should be taken against such who try to spark controversy only for their own publicity.