Amarinder Govt's defence: We used a picture that was already plagiarised, found it in public domain
- PT Bureau
Amarinder Govt's defence: We used a picture that was already plagiarised, found it in public domain



CHANDIGARH, DECEMBER 24: In a rather amusing response to the row over morphing a depiction of the tenth Sikh Master, Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji, on a painting originally depicting Napoleon Bonaparte astride a horse, an official spokesperson offered a rather creative defence by virtually stating that the government had used an already plagiarised/morphed image "sourced from a Sikhism website, which was in public domain.”

"The picture had been sourced from a Sikhism website, which was in public domain. It had neither been created nor modified by the Government in any manner,” the spokesperson said. 

The Amarinder Singh government also said it "rejected charges of sacrilege in its advertisements issued on the 350th birth anniversary commemorative celebrations of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji” and added that "the assertion was totally ridiculous.”

The government spokesperson did not clarify a single fact put out in a Punjab Today report to explain why was the cloak shown as worn by the tenth Sikh Master exactly the same as of Napoleon in the 1802 painting by a lackey artist. It did not explain why every single hair, every lock of sable, every twist of the mane, every feature of the body of the horse,  from its eyes to its limbs to even the rock underneath the horse's feet was the same as painted by someone nearly a 100 years after the Guru left this world.
 

"All the pictures/illustrations being used over the years were the imaginative creations of artists, for illustrative purposes only,” the government press release said.

The Punjab Today has also learnt that two senior retired journalists were consulted by the CMO to draft a response which was also shown to a senior woman journalist. During the consultations, much energy was spent on guessing the identity of the journalists of Punjab Today before it was decided to simply wash their hands of the entire row and offer no clarification.

While the Amarinder Singh government chided the opposition Akali Dal for not "verifying” the "authenticity” of any claims about a morphed depiction being used, it instead asked the SAD "to apologise to the people of Punjab for trying to politicize such a sombre occasion with their petty allegations.”
 

Meanwhile, it was left to the larger Sikh community, the people of Punjab and their intelligence to decide whether or not the official advertisement blatantly depicted the Tenth Sikh Guru as riding the horse of Napoleon, while also attired in Napoleon's cloak. 

That the winds sweeping the vast plains of Austria 200 years ago were playing with the mane and the cloak exactly as these did a hundred years before that somewhere in Punjab is just a tad incredulous, but then who can match the wisdom of people described as "official spokespersons.”

A senior artist consulted by Punjab Today said he was a little unhappy even with the Punjab Today report as it did not point out another vital though obvious truth: that use of such morphed pictures also amounted to an insult to all the painters who have painted depictions of Sikh gurus while remaining sensitive to religious sentiments.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

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