Criticism over American singer Rihanna's alleged mocking of a Hindu god and support for protesting farmers continued Thursday with social media flooded with posts condemning her posting of a topless photo wearing a pendant of Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu god of beginnings.
Rihanna posted the photo of her half-naked self as part of a promotion for her lingerie line called Savage X Fenty. The photo was posted to her Twitter account with more than 100 million followers and her Instagram account with 91.4 million followers.
The photo sparked outrage among social media users and politicians in India. Most of the posts accused the pop icon of disrespecting Hindu gods and the country's religion.
Ram Kadam, a state legislator from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu-nationalist party, accused Rihanna of "shamefully" mocking Ganesha. He said that the post just shows how the singer had "no idea or respect" for Indian culture.
The sentiment was echoed by hundreds of social media users and politicians. The World Hindu Council announced that it will be filing a complaint against the social media companies hosting the photos.
The council said that it will demand that Twitter and Facebook take down the photos and impose immediate sanctions against Rihanna's social media accounts.
"... Ms. Rihanna has posted images of Hindu God - Lord Ganesha in [an] unacceptable manner which did hurt Hindus across the globe," the council said.
The topless photo was posted just weeks after Rihanna upset the Indian government by showing her support for the farmers protesting the passing of new agricultural laws.
Other prominent personalities that had posted similar support for the farmers include climate activist Greta Thunberg, former adult movie actor Mia Khalifa, and American actress Susan Sarandon.
India's Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement condemning what it called "sensationalist social media hashtags." The ministry said that the comments made by the celebrities were "neither accurate nor responsible."