The American singer Rihanna shared on her social networks a topless photo with a necklace of the Hindu god Ganesha. The criticism was immediate, as various users and politicians in India attacked it, calling it disrespectful.
Ganesha is one of the most worshiped deities in India , characterized by having a human body and an elephant head, represents abundance, intelligence and fortune.
Rihanna appears in the image only with shorts, a pair of large earrings and the long necklace with the figure of Ganesha , all combined in purple, while looking to the side of the camera.
Although many praised her beauty, hundreds of others were outraged by the image and accused the singer of "cultural appropriation ”For using the god as an aesthetic resource within photography.
"Ganesha is a god in Hindu culture and you do not make accessories with sculptures of gods just to use it as aesthetics, " criticized one of the users (@invisiblestring) immersed in the debate on whether or not Rihanna had disrespected with her photo
The controversy grew so much that even Indian politicians began to criticize the American. For example, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with whom Rihanna got into controversy in early February for talking about the agricultural protests, said it was " appalling to see Rihanna shamefully mocking our beloved Hindu god Ganesha."
The nationalist party legislator added that the singer had “no idea or respect for Indian culture , tradition and our problems here.”
“No one is going to talk about wearing a Ganesha necklace? (Hindu goddess)? ”, questioned a netizen in the photo of Rihanna, while another comment on Instagram stressed:
Adding a locket of Ganesha is not aesthetic. Ganesha is a god worshiped with great devotion and this is culturally appropriate and also hurts the religious feelings of many Hindus!
The Hindu World Council, a group affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata (BJP) party, also spoke on the subject and assured that it had filed complaints with the police on Facebook and Twitter to take action against Rihanna's accounts.
This is not the first time that the American singer has friction with politicians in India. At the beginning of February, Rihanna criticized the government of that country for the agricultural protests that were taking place.
“Why aren't we talking about this? #FarmersProtest, ”he wrote on his Twitter account and shared a CNN report on internet outages in Dehli during farmers' protests.
This tweet was followed by an international condemnation by various human rights groups and Minister Modi accused, without specifically mentioning Rihana, that there were “ foreign individuals” and celebrities of “sensationalism” speaking about the events in their country.
In addition to the American singer, other figures who took a position on the issue were activist Greta Thunberg and Meena Harris , niece of the Vice President of the United States.
In response to the comments, the Foreign Minister of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and the Minister of Interior, Amit Shah, assured that "no propaganda can prevent the unity of India."
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