The Lord himself may not object to this scene from Kaminey, says Puri temple priest, but he sure does.
A scene in Kaminey has led to priests at Lord Jagannath temple in Puri, Orissa, filing an FIR against filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj. In the offensive part, Shahid Kapur enters a hostel toilet, and the graffiti on its door holds out an old self-help adage that’s now the Indian euphemism for masturbation, ‘Apna Haath Jagannath’. Damodar Mahasuar, head priest of the temple, speaks out:
QWhat is your problem with the scene?
A It is derogatory to Hindu culture. How can you address the Lord with ‘Apna Haath Jagannath’ and put it beside a nangee aurat on the latrine door? This has hurt us temple priests and all other Hindus.
QDo priests at Jagannath temple discuss movies more than going about their religious duties?
A No. As priests, we don’t watch any movies or television or listen to radio.
QThen, how did you come to know of it?
A It was shown by one of our regular devotees. It was on his mobile phone—and the priests saw it there and took note of it.
QDo you think the Lord will be bothered?
A No. But being a Brahmin, Bharadwaj should not have hurt Hindu sentiments. Lord Jagannath is like maa-baap (parents) to Hindus. Will one parade one’s maa-baap naked on a toilet door and write ‘Apna haath Jagannath’?
QThe film is far more critical of Marathi politics than Jagannath. There has been no fire from Maharashtra, then why here?
A An individual God is greater than a region’s people.
QBut what’s shown on the toilet door is so true of India’s hostels…
A If that’s the case, it’s also true that many Indians respect religion. Why has Bharadwaj not bothered about that? The mockery is deliberate.
QWhat do you want?
A We want Bharadwaj to remove the scene. I request him, ‘You are Brahmin, don’t do this.’ If he says he is guilty and removes the clip, that will do.