History, it is said, repeats itself, first as a tragedy, then as a farce.
In coastal Karnataka, though—in the homeland of the honourable home minister of the State—the self-appointed protectors of “Hindu culture” seem to have obtained a licence to take it into the farcical stage straightaway.
As if attacks on pub-going girls, bans on burkhas on campus, and preventing couples of different communities from holding hands or living together, wasn’t bad enough, some Hindu activists have reportedly objected to a statue of Charlie Chaplin being installed on a beach near a temple in Kundapur taluk for the shooting of a Kannada film.
Not even the fact that the Udupi district administration has given permission for the film shoot seems to have come in the way of the spoilsports, whose game is revealed by the blanket threat to prevent shooting anywhere in the district, not just near the Someshwara Temple.
The fact that it is a film-maker making the claim and that the intent is to put up a 67-foot statue of a five-foot-nothing comedian should set off some cautionary alarm bells as to whether this might not be a neat publicity stunt.
Then again, looking at the frequency with which these incidents are being reported under the cavernous noses and nostrils of the BJP government, you wonder if the Christian comedian who twirled the globe on his fingertip is The Great Dictator—or the Hindu jokers working overtime to kick the name of their great religion into the mud.
Sign the petition: Let’s Save Chaplin