Katy Perry has earned the ire of a number of Indian netizens after the American pop star posted an allegedly “offensive” photo of an Indian goddess on Instagram.
According to Mashable, the 32-year-old singer-songwriter uploaded an image of Kali, the Hindu goddess of death, along with the caption “current mood.” The Hindu deity, which is often associated with sexuality and love, is widely worshiped throughout India.
Perry’s post not only generated criticism towards herself, but also ignited a massive debate among Indians and Katy Perry fans who exchanged fiery remarks against each other.
Most of the angry comments noted the artist’s ignorance on the significance of goddess Kali to many Indians.
“This is a little offensive to the Hindu community because the meaning behind this photo and god symbolizes something different. Not sure what you intended it for, but it’s supposed to symbolize strength and courage,” one netizen posted.
“It’s not the right way to show your mood, don’t try to misuse Hindu religion and their feelings.you also use Jesus photo to show your mood,” another Instagram user commented.
“Please, Katy !! Don’t use such type of Indian God’s and goddess’ pics to represent our mood.Do you know what this pic means and what’s the story behind it,” another commenter wrote.
“We don’t care about your mood…..you should delete this post otherwise Indians soon change their mood,” said another netizen.
There are, however, some fans who defended Perry and criticized the offended netizens as over reacting.
“Seriously all those who are getting offended by this, you people are dumb. I m Hindu, Bengali specifically. Kali maa matters a lot to us btw. It is not like Christians don’t make memes of Jesus. It was just a light-hearted joke with no intentions whatsoever to offend you. Please stop overreacting to everything,” said one fan.
“Maa Kali is a symbol of power and unapologetic attitude. We take inspiration from her. Katy(who is unaware of our culture) sees the power of a woman in this picture. Hence she posted it to depict that she is in the mood to defy everything. Please don’t say that she is disrespecting our culture because she doesn’t say anything bad about Maa Kali in this picture,” another user explained.
It should be noted, however, that Perry has shown interest in Indian culture before. Her wedding with British comic Russel Brand, held in the Indian state of Rajasthan, was heavily Hindu-inspired.
Speaking about her religion, Perry had earlier denounced her birth religion Christianity, according to CBS.
“I’m not Buddhist, I’m not Hindu, I’m not Christian, but I still feel like I have a deep connection with God,” said Perry.