Saturday, July 24, 2010

Proverbial Chutney

Religious Party Convention in India Gets an Almighty Appearance

An Indian Roller Exclusive

A party convention in Mumbai organized by Shiv Sena, a right-wing Hindu party got a surprise visit from Lord Shiva, one of the principal Gods in the Hindu Trinity. The visit, on the third day of the convention, coincided with the birthday of the party's supremo, Bal Thackeray.

"It was a sign from the heavens," noted Kedar Apte, chief organizer of the convention. "The presence of Lord Shiva proves that we are the legitimate party of God. No other God has visited a party convention in the history of political parties in India."

According to sources, Lord Shiva spoke to the attendees for nearly an hour in a sing-song dialect of Prakrit, an ancient language of India. Only a few scholars in the congregation could decipher the dialect message and the same scholars were then ordered by the party high command to interpret Shiva's discourse for the gathering. Some in the audience lamented Lord Shiva's scant comprehension of modern-day Hindi or English.

"I understand Prakrit and Lord Shiva's message was perfectly clear," said Malini Shetty, one of scholars at the convention. "Hinduism is the number-one religion as long as we practice tolerance." Shetty also noted that Lord Shiva stressed upon the repatriation of the renowned artist, M.F.Hussain, whose relationship with Shiv Sena was estranged after he painted pictures of Hindu goddesses in varying degrees of nudity.

According to other scholars who were also attending, Lord Shiva reminded the congregation that many artists in ancient India painted and sculpted Shiva and his consort, Parvati, in sexually suggestive positions. "That's the beauty and latitude of art," said Nalini Pai, quoting Lord Shiva. "The nudity depicted in the reliefs of Shiva and Parvati in Khajuraho and other ancient temples in India is considered high art today and as well as regarded as priceless relics of our heritage."

A spokesperson for the Rationalist/Atheists of Indian Truth Adherents (RAITA) has denounced the reports of Shiva's visitation as "utter hokum."

The artist, M.F. Hussain, who is in a self-imposed exile in Qatar, could not be reached for comment.