Pondicherry University Play Stirs Controversy: ABVP Demands Strict Action

Pondicherry University witnessed a controversy erupt after a play staged during a department festival depicted characters from the Ramayana in a disrespectful manner. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student organization, has strongly condemned the play and called for strict action from the university administration.

The play, titled “SOMAYANAM,” was performed on March 29th at the Ezhini 2K24 festival organized by the Department of Performing Arts. The ABVP says that the play presented distorted portrayals of figures like Sita (called “Geeta” in the play) and Hanumanji (“Kanjaneya”). They specifically object to scenes where Geeta interacts with a character seen as a twisted version of Ravana.

The ABVP says these depictions and dialogues, such as the offering of beef and a suggestion of friendship despite marital status, constitute a deliberate attempt to disrespect Hindu deities. They further criticize the portrayal of Hanumanji as mocking.

While advocating for free speech, the ABVP argues that such expression should be exercised responsibly and not cause offense to religious beliefs or incite religious conflict.

In response to the play, the ABVP Pondicherry University chapter has demanded strong action from the university. Their demands include the dismissal of the play’s creators and performers, as well as disciplinary measures against faculty members who oversaw the production.

The university administration is yet to comment on the controversy or the ABVP’s demands.