New Delhi: Barbadian pop star Rihanna, already in news in India for her tweet backing the farmer protests, came under fresh fire on social media Tuesday as she took to Twitter and Facebook to post a topless image where she is seen wearing a Lord Ganesha pendant.
Those who criticised the singer included members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), with the latter also filing police complaints against the two social media giants in Delhi and Mumbai and alleging that the photo had “hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus”.
This is the second time within days that Rihanna has stoked a controversy in India.
Earlier this month, she became one of the first international celebrities to tweet about the farmers’ protest and the internet restrictions imposed near agitation sites in the wake of the 26 January violence in Delhi.
Her tweet in this regard, as also those by other prominent personalities like climate activist Greta Thunberg, Hollywood star Susan Sarandon, and former adult movie actor Mia Khalifa, elicited an official statement from the Ministry of External Affairs.
In a tweet, Maharashtra BJP MLA Ram Kadam said it is “appalling to see how @Rihanna shamefully mocks our beloved Hindu God #Ganesha”.
He added that “the singer has conspired to insult Hindu deities by going topless and sporting a Lord Ganesha pendant”.
The VHP has called for Rihanna’s social media accounts to be deleted permanently. VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal tweeted that he “along with many Hindus” has already “reported” the tweet. Those tagged in the tweet included Twitter, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, and the Ministry of Culture.