The Uttar Pradesh Police have registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the Editor and management of The Week magazine on a complaint about hurting religious sentiments by publishing allegedly derogatory images of Hindu deities.
The magazine issued an apology for what it termed an “inappropriate illustration” accompanying a column by Bibek Debroy, who heads the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. Mr. Debroy ended his association with the magazine on Thursday.
The FIR was registered at the Kotwali police station in Kanpur under Section 295A (deliberate and malicious intention of outrageous religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code following a complaint by former national convener of the Bajrang Dal and BJP leader Prakash Sharma. The complainant alleged that the magazine published objectionable photos of Lord Shiva and Maa Kali on pages 62 and 63 to go with Mr. Debroy’s piece titled ‘A tongue of fire’ in its July 24 issue.
The author registered his protest in a letter to the magazine on Thursday and said he would no longer be a columnist with them. “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. At least, that’s the way I perceive it,” he wrote.
Issuing the apology, VS Jayaschandran, Editor-in-Charge of The Week, regretted the “unfortunate error of judgment on our part” in reproducing what he said was a 19th century Kangra painting from Himachal Pradesh. The magazine has removed the images from its website.