A much-discussed article in The Wire refers to the viral artwork as ‘Hanuman 2.0″ and a symbol of “militant Hinduism”. “Hanuman 2.0 is not benign. The smile on his face has been replaced with strong frown lines. He radiates mean energy against a black and saffron background. His thunderous expression spells danger, and makes it clear he is no longer a server but a destroyer,” it contends.
Some articles call it the “angry Hanuman” and try to trace how it “became a rage” in India.
“I completely understand that symbols can be interpreted in various ways but it is so hard to not relate this to politics and political ideology. The fact that it is black and saffron and already the new face of outfits like Bajrang Dal is very scary,” one journalist is quoted, as saying in a News18 article. The piece also quotes a content writer, as saying: “Every time I see these stickers, I am reminded of two things — the expression of saffron nationalism. And not just by a nationalist, but by an angry ‘mard’ (man),” said Sharma.”