The Student Association of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi has issued a formal apology after a video clip of an allegedly derogatory Ramlila skit went viral.
The skit was performed by some students of AIIMS and it drew widespread criticism on social media for allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments.
It is reported that the skit was performed by first-year MBBS students near the hostel quadrangle at the AIIMS campus on the occasion of Dusshera.
In the contentious skit’s opening act, the student playing Bhagwan Ram could be heard as saying: “I am committed to Sita for life. If you (Shurpanakha) are so lustful (tharki), here is my brother.” A girl playing Shurpanakha goes on to objectify Laxman on the tune of a popular Bollywood song: “Tu cheez badi hai mast mast.“
While the actors mocked the Hindu epic of Ramayana, AIIMS students watching the skit merely cheered and hooted in unison rather than standing up and stopping the disrespectful act.
Many social media users demanded strict action against the students for the ‘disrespectful portrayal’ of Hindu gods and goddesses.
AIIMS Student Association apologised in a tweet:
“A video clip of a Ramlila skit done by some students of AIIMS has been circulating on social media. On behalf of the students, we apologise for the conduct of this skit which was not meant to hurt anyone’s sentiments. We will ensure that no such activity takes place in the future.”
The first-year student who played Bhagwan Ram in the mockery of Ramayan released a video apologising for his “childishness.”
“I and all of us want to apologise and assure that something like this will never happen again. It is being said that the AIIMS is Hinduphobic and that here Hindu festivals are not respected which is not true.
We celebrate all Hindu festivals here with grandeur….so it’s not true that we are against Hindus. We respect all our gods and goddesses.”
The AIIMS administration also held a discussion with the students on the matter and told PTI:
“The students realising the sensitivity of the issue have apologised issued a tweet. They have assured that such an incident won’t recur.”
The video of the Ramlila skit was uploaded by 2020 Topper Soyeb Aftab on his Youtube channel ‘AIIMS Insider.’
Following social media outrage, Aftab made the video private and later hid/remove it.