Srilamanthula Chandramohan: an artist's 11 year struggle against the Indian obscenity law and MS University

Round Table India

 

chandramohan

Chandramohan has once again stirred up a storm at the M. S. University of Baroda. This award-winning artist was accused of obscenity in May 2007 for his paintings which he had made for his Masters Final Year presentation. Religious groups both Hindu and Christians protested against his 'vulgar' depiction of Jesus and Goddess Durga. Chandramohan was arrested and released on May 14-2007. The matter did not settle there, the ongoing case of obscenity did not allow him to leave Gujarat and the University refused to give him his degree. The case did not see the light of the day and left Chandramohan helpless. Coming from a small village Mandapalli in Andhra Pradesh's East Godavari District Chandramohan's struggle only increased to make ends meet with a limited source of income not being able to leave the state of Gujarat.

 The university for the past 11 years has withheld his degree which made life even worse for him blocking all his future prospects. Chandramohan sent nearly 25 petitions to the university to give him his degree but to no avail. On 2nd February 2018, Chandramohan entered the university office with inflammable material and set the office on fire and confessed that he was pushed by the university to take this extreme step. Chandramohan has been lodged at the Sayajigunj Police Station at Baroda will be produced in the court on 3rd February 2018.

 

First, as an artist he lost his agency of expressing himself, his expression turned him into an alleged criminal and the consequences of the legal case left him high and dry without money or a career. Faced with rejection and frustration he is yet again a victim of state oppression. In times like now, the state can either kill you or make you a criminal if you express yourself.

Appeal

We strongly believe the university withholding his degree for such a prolonged period has damaged S Chandramohan's life prospects as a gifted artist. We appeal to readers to support S Chandramohan's legal battles.

~~~

With inputs from Johanna Lokhande

Youtube Courtesy: Gujarat Samachar

 

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