Hindus Ask Museum to Remove Painting

December 4, 2009

Author: Gary Stern

Source: The Journal News


Two national Hindu leaders have called on the Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, SUNY, to remove a painting that they say denigrates the Hindu goddess Kali by portraying her as a gruesome , machete-wielding figure.

They even object to the name of the painting, ”Housewives With Steak-Knives,“ as practicing Hindus do not eat beef but revere cows as a symbol of life. 

”This painting is a contradiction to Hindu principles,“ said Bhavna Shinde of the Forum for Hindu Awakening, based in Mount Laurel, N.J. ”A lot of people think that a Hindu deity is something from the imagination. But a deity is divine in nature. The form of a deity is described in Hindu scriptures and can be seen by a person who performs Hindu practices. That is why we have asked for this offensive representation of a Hindu deity to be removed.“

The painting in question is the work of Sutapa Biswas, an Indian-born artist living in London whose paintings, drawings and films have been exhibited around the world. 

It is part of an exhibit at the Neuberger that explores the impact of immigration on British identity in the post-World War II era.