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BJP sees Modi in the Pappanji of the Cochin Carnival; organisers says the controversy is unnecessary

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) staged a protest against the Cochin Carnival on Thursday, claiming that the face of the Pappanji figure being built as part of the event resembled Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Cochin Carnival is marketed as the largest annual tourist draw of Kerala.

Each year, well-known artists create Pappanji, a long-bearded figure resembling Santa Claus and frequently based on modern themes. On New Year’s Eve, the figure is set ablaze to symbolise the carnival’s conclusion. It is simple to interpret the burning of the effigy as lighting fire to all the vices of the previous year.

K J Sohan, a former mayor of Kochi and a major event organiser, called the BJP’s protest completely unnecessary and a dangerous trend. ‘The work on Pappanji’s figure is still in progress. Only the mask that served as the base for the figure’s face has similarities to the PM’s features’. ‘We have told them that the final face will have a completely different appearance. These protests are a hazardous trend because they cause unneeded societal problems,’ he said.

Sohan further added that, the Pappanji in this issue is meant to represent humanity’s victory against the coronavirus. He said, ‘This time Papanji has his left leg over the corona. Jais George, an artist and IT expert, created the figure, which was then built by Godwin, a native of Mulavukad.


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