Hurting Hindu Sentiments
Hindu idols are routinely disparaged in all walks of life. At Disney World in the USA, there is a statue of Lord Ganesha in one of the jungle rides! There are no other religious icons of any other faith in the park! Sometimes ago, a news was published that a New York-based shoe store was selling sandals with images of Shiva, Ganesh, and Gayatri. Thereafter, a Seattle-based manufacturer of designer toilet seats marketed toilet seats with images of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Kali. Media opinions in western world are at best condescending, and patronizing, and at worst disparaging and hostile. Hinduism is routinely branded as polytheistic, caste, women’s issues, as exotic, strange, world negating, and cultish. Now comes the bikini with an image of Goddess Laxmi by an Australian designer.
In fact, a section of western academics and their scholarly cartels are the main culprits who seem to think that they have a God-given right to impose their evangelical, narrow-minded, limited and sometimes a very biased agenda to denigrate Hinduism. These are often hostile and influential academics who carry political and ideological baggage against Hinduism and India and whose knowledge of ancient Indian history and Hinduism is blinkered and prejudiced.
Hence, the Hindus are extremely annoyed with the portrayal of Goddess Laxmi on the bikini of a model, during the fashion week in Australia on May 5. We have been watching Australia for last many months but the recent attack on our faith has crossed all boundaries. In this backdrop the VHP organised a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to register their ire against the recent attack on the Hindu faith in Australia. They also submitted a memorandum to the Australian High Commission. In its memorandum VHP wrote: “On our protest, the designer has however, e-mailed us tendering her apology but, it is not sufficient for the hurt caused to us.” For, the designer has hurt the sentiments of crores of Hindus across the globe.
However, it is surprising that the UPA government has maintained a studied silence on such an important issue. The Prime Minister should take the initiative and ensure that the Ministry of External Affairs talks to the Australian High Commissioner and ask him to make sure that our countrymen, their faith and religious sentiments are not hurt in future by any means in his country. The Australian government should agree to take stern actions against those who have indulged in such immoral activity so that such shameful act is not repeated in the future. The way our Gods and Goddesses are being used for commercialisation is intolerable. These products should be withdrawn from the market and the guilty must be penalised. Only then will our national humiliation be avenged. Other religious head such as the Pope of the Vatican City and the Imam of Mecca should also join us in this cause. They should appeal to the people of their religion that no person or country should ever indulge in such absurd acts.
By Swadeshpal Gupta