In a now-deleted tweet, niece of Democratic VP Candidate Kamala Harris, Meena Harris recently tweeted a photo of the former as Goddess Durga.
In the image, Kamala Harris sat atop a lion, with her ten arms each wielding a symbol of Goddess Durga's power. The lion she rode atop has Joe Biden's enraged face. The image depicted Harris vanquishing an incensed-looking Donald Trump.
Deeming the morphed photo 'offensive', Hindu groups in the US have sought an apology from Meena Harris.
"Your tweeting a caricature of the feminine divine, Maa Durga, with faces superimposed, deeply aggrieved many Hindus globally," Suhag A Shukla, Executive Director of the Hindu American-Foundation said in a tweet, further tweeting guidelines for Harris to keep in mind.
Dear @meenaharris, by now you know that your tweeting a caricature of the feminine divine, Maa Durga, with faces superimposed, deeply aggrieved many Hindus globally.
To avoid such an error in judgement, for future reference, please refer to: https://t.co/yXBRCE4xcw
— Suhag A. Shukla (@SuhagAShukla) October 18, 2020
"We became aware that Meena Harris was sharing an image that had already been making the rounds on WhatsApp; she herself did not create the image. We also learned that the Biden-Harris campaign had nothing to do with the image. In fact both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris issued entirely appropriate greetings on Twitter for Navaratri," Hindu American Foundation told The Quint.
.@DouglasEmhoff and I wish our Hindu American friends and family, and all those celebrating, a very Happy Navratri! May this holiday serve as an inspiration to all of us to lift up our communities and build a more inclusive and just America.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 17, 2020
As the Hindu festival of Navratri begins, Jill and I send our best wishes to all those celebrating in the U.S. and around the world. May good once again triumph over evil — and usher in new beginnings and opportunity for all.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 17, 2020
But Hindu netizens on Twitter were still unsatisfied with the younger Harris' tweet, demanding an apology.
Dear @meenaharris and @KamalaHarris 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? pic.twitter.com/00jijrNRih
— Shefali Vaidya. (@ShefVaidya) October 18, 2020
"I personally believe that an apology should come from Meena Harris even though she did delete the tweet, and no one else. Our religious iconography should not be used in the service of politics in America -- I said the same when the Fort Bend County GOP did it in an ad in 2018, and it holds the same here," Rishi Bhutada of the Hindu American Political Action Committee said.
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