MUMBAI: Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam raked up a controversy when he compared controversial self-styled godwoman Sukhwinder Kaur alias Radhe Maa to Goddess Kali and the Naga sadhus.
In a series of posts on social media including Twitter and Facebook, Nigam said "a country that worships Kaali Maa, who's depicted in the least clothes, has the galls to judge someone's spiritual quotient by his/her attire!"
"I have no clue who she is... Never met her... But in my eyes, she's someone's wife, someone's daughter and many others call her a mother," Nigam claimed about Radhe Maa.
"If she's proven guilty by the law, she'll be punished by law. Before that, she's as respectable a citizen as you and me. And more so since she's a woman in a country infamous for it's rapes and atrocities over women," he added.
He pointed out that India has the Kumbh Mela where thousands of naked Naga sadhus roam around, a country that has Digambar Jains who don't wear anything for religious reasons, but has issues with a woman merely wearing a short dress in her personal time.
"How does the number and length of clothes on a person define his or her spiritual quotient," he asked.
"We have issues with her dancing on songs, most dancers like Hema Malini, portray Durga ballet on stage regularly. So? Big Deal?
"If her devotees have no issues with it, why should we be bothered? They see their God in a dancing Guru, many others see their God's in a Sai Baba Idol, or a Shiva Idol!!
"What then is a difference between those terrorists who call everyone else who don't follow Islam as Kaafirs, and us? Where does religious freedom go?" Nigam continued.
Slamming critics, he wondered what kind of a country Indians were living in where people cannot discuss an issue without using foul language, circulating semi-pornographic images and reducing someone's dignity to trash.
He lamented that over the years, there is "another kind of rowdy mob of hooligans, a Twitter Mob, that has no boundaries. That will mercilessly and pointlessly abuse and attack, you could be a senior actor, you could be someone's wife or mother. They don't care!"
"But I put across my point in complete awareness of the consequences .. I know that religious hypocrites go on offensive when they are cornered philosophically. Rational point of views, have always received brickbats initially before the wise of the society come together to empower it," Nigam said.
Monday's Facebook post followed series of tweets on Sunday evening which evoked sharp reactions, with many people construing it as support for the high-profile Radhe Maa, currently facing accusations in a dowry harassment case filed by a Mumbai housewife, and granted interim anticipatory bail by the Bombay High Court.