Thursday, 20 June 2013

Why row over Mother Mary’s tribal avatar?

Virgin Mary has been shown in a new type of tribal avatar at Singhpur village in Dhurwa (Jharkhand, India) in the form of a statue and this has sparked a major controversy as from the local tribals. The move is taken as an attempt to cause division between the local christians and non-christians. The apparel of Virgin Mary shown in the statue is that of a tribal woman in a saree with red ribbon, a locally popular dress code for tribal women. The allegation is that 100 years from now this shall be mystiquely taken as the real version of Virgin Mary as against how she has been seen in the pictures for centuries. The local tribals allege that this has been done deliberately to win over a certain section of local people in view of the coming elections the next year. Personally speaking, I hold a view that such a practice is highly unfair and is vulnerably capable of distorting the real image of Virgin Mary with the very grace part of it missing when transformed in to a different mode of a picture. Unfortunately, in the country like India such a practice is an age old one where different Gods and Goddesses are picturised in tune with the local traditions and culture. They are highly fair complexioned ones in North India as against South India where they are painted as pitch black resembling the colour of humans there. This is how the God varies in colour and complexion from one location to another. If Gods and Goddesses  are there, they have  to be venerably worshipped in one unique shape and form without tarnishing their very look and grace. Such a practice in fact warrants an arrest and a total ban.

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