Ukraine 'regrets' depicting Hindu goddess Kali in distorted manner
Emine Dzheppar, who is the Ukrainian deputy minister of foreign affairs, expressed regret after a social media post by Ukraine's defence ministry showed Hindu Goddess Kali in an awkward pose.
On May 2 (Tuesday), Dzheppar tweeted: "We regret @DefenceU depicting #Hindu goddess #Kali in a distorted manner. #Ukraine &its people respect unique #Indian culture&highly appreciate🇮🇳support."
The minister added that the depiction has already been removed and Ukraine is determined to further increase cooperation in the spirit of "mutual respect and friendship".
The post, with the caption "Work of art", sparked a huge row in India, and was later deleted. In the controversial image, created by Ukrainian artist Maksym Palenko, a bomb blast was shown merged with the famous American actress Marilyn Monroe's "flying skirt" pose.
But Indian users slammed the post for mocking the Hindu culture with the caricaturish depiction as it had notable similarities with the Hindu Goddess "Maa Kali" — the deity with its blue skin colour, tongue sticking out pose and a wreath of skulls around the neck.
A Twitter user who goes by the name Mohan Sinha tweeted: "This is why you guys are not getting any support from India."
Another user, Sudhanshu Singh, tweeted: "I am absolutely appalled to see the Ukrainian defence handle mocking Maa Kali, a revered Hindu goddess. This is a gross display of insensitivity and ignorance. I urge them to take down the offensive content and issue an apology. Respect for all religions and beliefs is paramount."
One of the netizens wrote, "Shocking! Official handle of Ukraine Defense Ministry is portraying Maa Kali in a demeaning pose. This is not a work of art. Our faith is not a matter of joke. Take it down and apologise @DefenceU"
Last month, Dzheppar visited India and met the Secretary (West), of the Ministry of External Affairs, Sanjay Verma and several other officials. While speaking to reporters, she said that India, as a global player, has the potential to be a leader in promoting peace and justice worldwide.
"India as a global player really is the Visha guru of the world. I think it's crucial that we are the victim of the War, of unprovoked war, of the Neo-colonial war," she had said.
During her visit, she also said that she hoped that India will play an active role in addressing global issues and challenges, particularly in the areas of economics, energy, and nuclear policy. Asked about India-Russia energy ties, Dzheppar urged India to diversify its resources, including energy and military contracts, to avoid being dependent on any one country.
"We are not in the position of instructing India, in their economic ties with other countries. I think that India should be pragmatic in diversifying the energy resources, in diversifying military contracts, in diversifying political interaction," she added.