Hindu groups in the US have sought an apology from the niece of Senator Kamala Harris for tweeting an “offensive” image, which depicted the Democratic vice presidential nominee as goddess Durga.
The outrage has forced Kamala Harris’ niece Meena Harris to delete the tweet.
In the now deleted tweet, Meena Harris had said, “I am actually speechless, other than to say that the first day of Navaratri was LIT.”
In the image, Kamala Harris, who is also the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate in the US election, was depicted as Goddess Durga and she was seen killing US President Donald Trump, who was depicted as buffalo demon ‘Mahishasura’.
In the picture, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was depicted as a lion, the ‘vahana’ (vehicle) of the goddess.
“Your tweeting a caricature of the feminine divine, Maa Durga, with faces superimposed, deeply aggrieved many Hindus globally,” tweeted Suhag A Shukla of Hindu American Foundation.
HAF, which represents the Hindu American community, also issued a guideline for commercial use of images relating to Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
Rishi Bhutada of the Hindu American Political Action Committee said the “offensive” picture was not created by Meena Harris herself. Bhutada added that the controverisal image had been circulating on WhatsApp before Meena tweeted it. According to Bhutada, Biden campaign confirmed to him that the image was not created by it.
Ajay Shah, convener of American Hindus Against Defamation, said in a statement the image has offended the Hindu community.
“If you think you are going to win Hindu votes by mocking us, think again. This image is highly offensive and insulting to Hindus. Our Divinities are NOT cultural curios for you to mock and trivialise. And you delete without an apology?” noted author Shefali Vaidya said in a tweet.
It is to be noted that both Kamala and Biden had greeted Hindu-American community on Navratri few days ago and wished for victory of good over evil once again.