Resisting Church-Communist Pressure, Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Upholds Award For Rape-Accused Bishop Mulakkal’s Cartoon

Resisting Church-Communist Pressure, Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Upholds Award For Rape-Accused Bishop Mulakkal’s CartoonThe cartoon on rape accused Franco Bishop Mulakkal(in the left) which triggered controversy. (Image courtesy:- Satya Vijayi)

Withstanding all the pressure from the ruling dispensation, the Kerala Lalithkala Akademi rejected to review its decision to honour a cartoonist for a cartoon depicting rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal as a rooster defying the long hands of the law, reports The Hindu.

The Akademi unanimously re-asserted that the jury’s decision was final and it would endorse the same, said Akademi chairman Nemom Pushparaj.

The award-winning cartoon, published in Hasya Kairali magazine, had drawn protest from the Catholic Congress under the Thrissur Archdiocese which took streets to protest against the akademi’s decision, alleging that the cartoon insulted Christian religious symbols.

As the cartoon triggered controversy, Cultural Affairs Minister A K Balan of the CPI(M) led LDF government had last week told the State Assembly that the government was of the opinion that the cartoon had “hurt” the sentiments of the Christian community and urged the akademi to review its decision.

“What had been depicted in the cartoon was the symbol of power and not any Christian symbol. It is just a symbol of power.. there is no need to attach any holiness to it,” clarified Pushparaj.

The autonomous cultural organisation also turned down the criticism that the cartoon, titled ‘Viswasam Rakshathi’ (protection of faith) drawn by K.K. Subhash of Chengalam, had hurt the sentiments of the Christian community.

Mulakkal, former Bishop of Jalandhar, was arrested by Kerala police in September amid a massive public outrage after a nun alleged she was repeatedly raped by him in a convent in Kottayam district between 2014 and 2016.

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