Pop icon Rihanna is back in the news. She has been accused of mocking a Hindu god. Rihanna recently posted a topless picture with a pendant of Ganesha around her neck, sparking a furor in India.
Images of the lingerie photoshoot come just weeks after she upset India by commenting on huge farmers’ protests. The same protests pose a major challenge to New Delhi.
The latest offending tweet to the superstar’s more than 100 million Twitter followers is part of promotions for Rihanna’s lingerie line Savage X Fenty.
The photo was also shared on her Instagram account, which has 91.4 million followers.
Social media users and politicians in India said her post was derogatory. They accused her of disrespecting Hindu gods and hurting local sentiment.
“It’s appalling to see how @Rihanna shamefully mocks our beloved Hindu God #Ganesha,” tweeted Ram Kadam, a state legislator from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist party.
“This exposes how #Rihanna has no idea or respect for Indian culture, tradition and our issues here,” he added.
The right-wing World Hindu Council said it had filed police complaints against Facebook and Twitter for hosting the picture. They demanded action against Rihanna’s social media accounts.
Meanwhile, earlier this month tweets from Rihanna and other celebrities on farmers’ protest against new agriculture laws angered India. Moreover, it called their comments “sensationalist”.
Critics say Hindu nationalism has been on the rise in officially secular India under Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. Did you know, Rihanna had to apologize last year to Muslims for using a song with Quranic hadith in a fashion show?
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