The monkeys are definitely calling the shots in the South Indian state of Karnataka.
Not content with beating up girls for the sin of drinking in a pub, razing churchesÂ and threatening to derail Valentine’s Day celebrations, the modern-day descendants of the Hindu monkey-god Hanuman are now turning their ire against the late film legend Charlie Chaplin.
Some tail-less monkeys in Baindur (near the temple town of Udupi)Â have opposed the installation of Chaplin’s statue on the ground that it would hurt the sentiments of Hindus.
You see, Chaplin was a Christian, albeit one with left leanings.
The local legislator K LakshminarayanaÂ (belonging to the Hindu nationalist BJP party) says he has no objection to the installation of monkey god Hanuman’s statue.
Here’s an excerpt from the Times of India story:
The last laugh may be on Charlie Chaplin, cinema’s funny man who mocked prejudice and fascism. The Left-leaning, suspected communist sympathizer was called many names during his eventful life, but `Christian’ wasn’t one of them. But the new tag comes courtesy BJP activists in Baindur, near Udupi. They have blocked installation of Chaplinâ€™s statue saying it would hurt Hindu sentiment.
The statue was being put up by Karnataka film director Hemant Hegde for the shoot of his movie `Housefull’ and was meant for a song sequence. On Friday, local BJP leader Suresh Batwadi stopped the film unit from going ahead with the project, claiming that the land on which the statue was to be erected belonged to the Someshwara temple and the crew lacked the requisite permissions.
Hegde said he had obtained all the clearances and had discussed the shoot with the officials. “I had apprised the gram panchayat and the Udupi deputy commissioner. The BJP activists questioned me as to why I was not installing Vivekananda’s statue,” he said. He said he planned to shift the shoot elsewhere.