Popular RJ of Radio Mirchi Kolkata, Mir Afsar Ali is, once again, drawing the ire of netizens for making a derogatory caricature of Hindu deities, Maa Durga and Bhagwan Shiva. In its latest Durga Puja video, Radio Mirchi Kolkata projects Mir as Bhagwan Shiva and his female co-RJ Sree Basu as Maa Durga.
In the video, Bhagwan Shiva (played by Mir) – seen wearing goggles, a black T-shirt, a plastic snake around his neck, and a toy dumru in his hand – is rejoicing the fact that his wife (Maa Parvati/Durga) is leaving Kailash and descending to Earth and he will get ‘freedom from his wife’. Mir, rejoicing his freedom, sings a parody of a Bollywood song:
“Yeh Raat aur yah doori,
Amar bede gelo bhundi (I have a huge tummy)
Ki dil mera Durga Durga Bole….”
Enters Sree, speaking in an irritated tone to Mir, poking him with her trident. “In the last one and a half years, I have done all domestic chores, and this one has only sat and hogged. No wonder he has a big tummy,” says the lady dressed as Maa Durga.
Mir says, “I have not just eaten. I have cooked, swept, mopped, have fed you..”
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose is revered by the entire nation, but Bengalis are the most respectful of his legacy. It was embarrassing to witness his name being dragged in the callous comedy as Mir Afsar dressed as Bhagwan Shiva makes a reference to him, saying, “I will call Netaji and tell him to give you his horse to make your journey quick.” To which the Asura says, “No horse, Maa travels on a lion”. Later, Mir starts singing “hey dola hey dola,” and the Asura objects saying, “Not dola (palanquin), but Maa will go and come on lion only.”
This mixing of the profane with the sacred, and reducing powerful, divine Hindu deities to rambling caricatures is the sort of liberty that our left-liberals take only with Hindu Dharma. Forget daring to mock Abrahamic religions, they would not dare show Sikh Gurus or Jain Tirthankaras in this way.
In another sequence, RJ Shree, playing Maa Durga, caresses the Asura’s face affectionately, which, regardless of the intention, is sacrilege. As the skit progresses, “Shiva” questions “Durga” on why is she so “violent?” “Durga” responds, “You know me, I am like this since childhood,” and then makes a gesture mocking Maa Durga’s posture while slaying Mahishasura.
Devi Durga is the manifestation of eternal power and supreme might, Shakti. There have been repeated endeavours of doing a makeover of Devi Durga’s image by stripping her off her weapons by various Durga Puja committees in the state who give excuses like ‘promoting communal harmony’. Mocking Durga as a ‘violent’ goddess is not only a denigration of her status as the supreme embodiment of strength but also shaming her for being fierce and unconquerable.
The entire skit is verbose and full of parody that could be defined as nothing but derogatory and demeaning of the celestial couple, Bhagwan Shiva and Maa Durga.
Mirchi Bangla’s Sharodia skit was met with huge criticism by netizens. Bengali viewers questioned Mir Afsar Ali on why he doesn’t make such denigrating videos on the occasion of Eid or his Nabi (prophet).
Some also highlighted that these mockeries have been around for a very long time and Radio Mirchi finds the guts to ridicule only Hindu festivities. “To finish a faith, one only has to repeatedly attack the culture it extends to, and that is what has been happening since the times of Ghazni,” said one Facebook user with examples.
However, many Hindus in West Bengal are still in a deep secular sleep and the violence in Bangladesh just across the border hasn’t woken them up to face reality. Such people are aplenty and they still find humour in such degradation of Dharma. Further, Bengali news site Eisomoy jumped to defend Mir and labelled all those who questioned Mir’s poor choice of comedy as “religious extremists”.
We wonder if journalists at Ei Somoy are aware of the anti-Hindu pogrom being orchestrated in Bangladesh over a fabricated ‘insult’ to the Quran. That is the real religious extremism which secularists in Bengali media don’t want to talk about.
This is not the first time Mir has tried to make a mockery of Hindu religious sentiment. Last year, he had used quite a unique way to wish the people of Bengal during Durga Puja. He used a picture from a cricket ground for Sashthi, a ridiculous still from a Bollywood movie on Saptami, but what was slammed the most for his choice of image on the day of Durga Maha Ashtami when he picked the image of a dishevelled Vidya Balan from the movie Bhool Bhulaiya.
BJP leader Keya Ghosh highlighted how Mir gets all “creative” during the Hindu festival but while wishing fellow Muslims on Nabi Diwas, all his wits and fanciful creativity take a back seat and he chooses the safe traditional route.
This is not the first time Mir Afsar Ali has invited heavy public flak for slighting Hindus. In association with Radio Mirchi, a platform known for employing Hindu-hating Islamists like Sayema, Mir’s slighting of the Durga Puja dates back to 2o13, when the FM station showed a rap and dance between the caricatures of Durga and Mahishasur, with the use of expressions like “Shake it, Baby” and “Shake it, Devi”.
The saga of depravity will continue until Hindus keep holding onto the delusion of secularism, which is just another name for Dhimmitude and cowardice.