One religion which unites India is cricket. In a vibrant but religiously divided country, cricket is the soul of all India. People follow other game as well, but cricket is in our genes. But, Indian captain MS Dhoni has been issued a nonbailable arrest warrant for a magazine cover which shows Dhoni has posed as the Hindu god Vishnu.
The new warrant has bee issued by a local court in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district on the basis of a petition filed by a leader of the right-wing Hindu organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Dhoni, who has been in Australia for a five-match ODI series and T20 series, has been asked to appear in court on 25 February. He will also travel to Sri Lanka for a T20 series.
The case has been filed because of sports on Lord Vishu’s (Dhoni) hand in the picture.
The cover of Business Today that sparked recent controversy dates back o to April 2013 and featured a morphed image of Dhoni as Vishnu holding various products, with the tagline “God of big deals”, in reference to the cricketer’s numerous commercial endorsements.
Earlier India Supreme Court had stayed the proceedings against Dhoni after the cricketer approached the apex court to quash the criminal case filed against him by an activist Jayakumar Hirenmath for allegedly hurting his religious sentiments.
However, this is not the first time Indian cricketers were morphed as God. Sachin Tendulkar just before the World Cup has been designed in the attire of one of the Indian Gods. Sachin has been depicted as the God with ten heads where one of the Australia player worshiping him while Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi looked dejected. Totally offensive banner.
But, nobody raised a question about this banner because first of ball it is Sachin Tendulkar and secondly there is no Indian involved in the image. With World Cup had been happening in India nobody was interested in paying heed to other news.
But, why does case has been filed against MS Dhoni? Because Vishwa Hindu Parishad, who believes themselves as custodian of Hindu religion did not take the image lightly. For them, Dhoni, who himself a Hindu, has maligned the religion, according to them.
But, the question is when Dhoni himself denied that he has not posed for any image as Lord Vishnu, why did not they file a case against Business Magazine for morphing the image as Lord Vishnu.
So, it will not be staggering to say it is hypocrisy from the lawyer and Vishwa Hindu Parishad if it is not intolerance.
Here are the three magazine cover and one banner where cricketers had been morphed as God and cricket as religion:
An offensive banner during the 2011 World Cup in India and Sri Lankan
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