(ConservativeSense.com) – India reacted with outrage when the Ukrainian Defense Department tweeted a cartoon mocking the Hindu goddess Kali. The post showed the goddess in the iconic pose of Marylin Monroe, with her white dress blown up by the wind. The goddess is also depicted with ferocious teeth, her tongue out, blue skin, and wearing a neckless of human skulls. “Work of art,” read the caption accompanying the image.
Protests from India and beyond led to the removal of the post, but an arm of India’s military, the Aerospace Defense, responded angrily. On Twitter, the department wrote that Ukraine’s official defense ministry had published “highly insulting and hateful content.”
Kanchan Gupta, who advises the Indian government on communication, described the caricature as an assault on Hindu sentiments.
Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova has apologized to India for the post.
India has taken a neutral position on the war in Ukraine, primarily prompted by its reliance on Russia for oil and military supplies. The country has offered humanitarian aid to Ukraine but has also criticized Western hypocrisy on national sovereignty and oil purchases and said it does not want to be pressured into taking sides.
In January, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar said Europe was critical of India for continuing to purchase Russian oil despite also doing so. “We still buy a quarter of what Europe buys in one afternoon,” he said.
India increased its purchases of Russian oil after the war began. It did so at discounted prices and justified this by pointing to the high poverty levels in the vastly populated country.
Some officials and commentators have now said India should reconsider its relationship with Ukraine in light of the insulting post. That relationship is already fragile. Amitabh Kant, an Indian diplomat, said in March that the world needs to “move on” from Ukraine.
The goddess Kali is among the most revered of Hindu gods, responsible for power and time.
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