The Kanpur Police have registered an FIR against the editor and management of ‘The Week’ magazine on a complaint related to hurting religious sentiments by publishing a derogatory image of Hindu deities.
The magazine has already issued an apology for what it termed an “inappropriate illustration” accompanying a column by Bibek Debroy, who heads the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister.
Debroy ended his association with the magazine last week.
The FIR was registered at the Kotwali police station in Kanpur under Section 295A (deliberate and malicious intention of outraging religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code, following a complaint lodged by BJP leader and former national convener of the Bajrang Dal, Prakash Sharma, on August 5.
The complainant alleged that the magazine published an objectionable photo of Lord Shiva and Maa Kali to go with Debroy’s piece titled ‘A tongue of fire’ in its July 24 issue.
“The editor and others responsible for this objectionable act should be dealt with an iron hand,” Sharma told IANS.
Issuing the apology, V.S. Jayaschandran, Editor-in-Charge of ‘The Week’, regretted the “unfortunate error of judgment on our part” in reproducing what he said was a 19th century Kangra painting from Himachal Pradesh. The magazine has removed the image from its website.
The author also registered his protest in a letter to the magazine and said he would no longer be a columnist with them.
“There is a very tenuous link between the content of the article and the picture. I can think of many better depictions of Kali. This picture was deliberately chosen to titillate and provoke. At least, that’s the way I perceive it,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East), Pramod Kumar, said the FIR was registered under Section 295A and added that the investigation officer has been asked to look into the charges and take appropriate action.
Bajrang Dal workers have also sought action against the magazine and lodged their protest by burning copies of the publication.