February 22, 2006

Four times injured

As a public service, I'm compiling a catalogue of religious sentiments injured. Here are the first four entries of what, I'm sure, will be a tome when done.

Note: since I believe all these are equally worthy of belonging in this catalogue, no implied ranking should be construed by my use of numbers.

All right? Here we go.

1) The TV star Mandira Bedi named her two dogs "Sardar Ruginder Singh Bedi" and "Buster Upadhyay Kaushal." In April 2003, one Jasvinder Singh Sital accused her of offending the Sikh community with these names. "It is offensive," he said. "No one should be allowed to name their dog or any other pet with a Sikh name."

(Aside: Within days, Bedi apologized. "I would like to clarify that I have only called my dogs by those names out of affection," she said. "The purpose ... was by no means to hurt the religious sentiments of my community or my husband’s community. I would like to apologize if I have inadvertently hurt anyone and would never ever refer to my dogs with those names again. Their names hence forth will be only Roger and Buster.")

2) The film-maker Deepa Mehta's film Fire has two women characters. They are lovers, and their names are "Radha" and "Seeta." (The latter name was changed to "Neeta"). In late 1998, the Shiv Sena's Bal Thackeray denounced this film, saying that the use of these names for these characters in the film hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus. "Will anyone deliberate on the harm these people are doing by ushering in a wretched culture?" asked Thackeray.

3) The film-maker Vinod Pande's film Sins shows a Catholic priest in a sexual relationship with a younger woman. In February 2005, Catholic organizations objected to it, accusing Pande of hurting the sentiments of the community by showing a priest as a man of loose morals indulging in sex and assault. "Religion needs to be a personal affair and should not be a subject for entertainment or for commercial use," said Joseph Dias, general secretary of the Catholic Secular Forum.

4) The actress Manisha Koirala either has (say her critics) or doesn't have (she says) a dog called "Mustafa", though that name too is apparently wrong. Last week, a Congress politician called Sheikh Furkhan complained to the police about this name, saying it was the name of his community's (it's not clear to me whether he means Muslims or some sect among Muslims) spiritual head. "[Koirala] has to apologize to our community or face the consequences," he said.

What's more, the reporter who first wrote about Koirala and her dog, and who later issued a statement saying she got the name of the dog wrong (i.e. that it was not Mustafa), was herself arrested and accused of "deliberately injuring religious sentiments."


A fine start, even if I say so myself. Your entries welcome. Let's compile that tome!


Anonymous said...

Ah. How could you have not NOT missed these?

1. Taslima Nasrin's Dwikhandito, wherein she narrates her relationships with Kolkata's prominent Islamic secularists (no oxymoron this) was banned by West Bengal's Marxist secular government. Alleged reason for the ban: alleged allusions in the book to a Muslim religious figure's love life, which allusions allegedly offended the sentiments of Muslims. The book is also "pornographic", the WB government declared.

2. Russian film Taurus withdrawn from Kolkata film festival because it told the truth about Lenin; truth such as that he was a Jew-hater. This was deemed sacrilegious by the Marxist faithful. Jyoti Basu was stark raving mad. "How can anybody make such a film?" he asked, obviously very surprised that any film-maker could stoop so low, and added, "it should not have been allowed in the film festival". Kerala's progressive Marixsts, their religious sentiments deeply hurt by a film they have not seen, declared that there would be trouble on the streets of Trivandrum if the film is shown in Kerala.

3. There is also an incident of bombing involving the shooting of Roland Jaffe's "City of Joy" in Kolkata. Anybody knows the details?

4. Mani Ratnam's Bombay was the favourite target of everybody. Sena chief wanted its name changed to "Mumbai". Muslim religious sentiments were deeply hurt because a Muslim female was shown married to a Hindu male. Hurt religious sentiments found expression in the bombing of a few cinemas showing the film. Progressives and secualrists were angry too. A newspaper article fumed against the movie because it allegedly showed Muslims as "more" fanatical than Hindus. One of the authors of this article, if I remember correctly, is the famous secularist and Indo-Pak peace activist, Mr Javed Anand. Another noted Islamic secularist, Shabana Azmi, added her might to the debate by calling Ratnam a "knickerwallah", an insult he is yet to recover from.

5. There is this film, the title of which I cannot recall, that allegedly shows Shahrukh Khan peeing behind a church or something like that. Christian religious sentiments were deeply hurt.

6. A Christian author argued in a newspaper that the West was prejudiced against non-Christian religious fugures and did not accord them as much respect as it gave to its own. To prove his point, the author -- Christian author, remember -- quoted Dante's claim that a certain Muslim religious figure would go to hell. This point of religious sympathy and generosity shown by a Christian to Muslims was completely lost on the latter. Probably since no madarssa or friday sermon ever told them who this Dante dude was, they conluded that the author himself was insulting their religoius figure. The newspaper's office was attacked.

7. Several years ago, a newspaper published the translation of a Malayalam story by a Marxist author -- titled "Ants", if I remember correctly. The story was about corruption or declining values or one of those themes that generally win awards. People become so greedy that like ants they "eat" religious figures, including a Muslim religious figure. (This is recalling from memory, but I could be wrong here on the story's exact plot). The newspaper's office was burned down. The said story also has a prostitute character, named Sita. Fortunately, nobody burned the paper's office all over again after it was rebuilt.

8. Alleged Gandhians' religious sentiments were hurt by a play that did not show Godse as the evil guy; after a bit of unGandhian violence, the play was banned.

9. Jerry Falwell said something nasty about a Muslim religious figure in far away USA, and the faithful of Sholapur went on a rampage. A couple of kaffirs were killed.

10. A Muslim sacred book was allegedly burnt somehwere in Punjab, and the faithful of Bombay went on a rampage. Kaffirs were killed. A few months after this, Gujarat riots happen. Secular progressive journalists get on air in the midst of mayhem and tell viewers with tears in their (the journalists', not viewers') eyes that they saw with their own eyes the barbaric act of Muslim sacred books being burnt. Kaffirs were clueless as to why this alleged fact needed to be highlighed when even human beings were being burnt.

11. Muslim sacred book was allegedly torn in Ladakh, and there is trouble between Muslims and Buddhists of Ladakh as we speak.

12. Little known fact: initially, Arundhati Roy's GOST met with strident disapproval from Marxist progressives because similarities were discovered between some of the unsavoury charcters in her book and Kerala's communist leaders, including EMS. But we hear that the misunderstanding has since been cleared up and that Ms Roy and Marxist progressives have been living happily together everafter.

13. Sketchy detail, because I forgot the eact detail: Christian religious sentiments are hurt by a TV commercial. Christian religious leaders demand that all TV commercials involving christian themes or figures must first be approved by the Chruch.

Rahul Siddharthan said...

The Royal Mail released a Christmas stamp that was a reproduction of a 17th century painting in a Mumbai gallery. Britain's Hindus claimed that this offended their sentiments because the couple shown worshipping a baby Christ had Hindu markings on their faces. The Royal Mail, after initially standing by the stamp, climbed down.

The shop where I buy my coffee powder has a picture of a very Hindu-looking Joseph, Mary and Jesus, next to some pictures of Hindu gods. I'm waiting for the protectors of Hindu sentiments to attack that shop. Also to attack the numerous Christians who go around in Hindu clothes with bindis on their foreheads.

And, of course, to attack that Mumbai gallery where the 17th-century painting hangs. And track down the descendants of the artist and kill them.

Anonymous said...

- Sambhaji Bridage's attack on a Marathi newspaper for NOT publishing an article about Chatrapati Shivaji on a day commemerating him.

Now, that's a first!

Anonymous said...

In mid-80s, All India Radio Manager's head was tonsured, face blackened and his office ransacked. His crime: he had made the mistake of not cliping out a kid shouting in background 'Gali aali main shor hai, Rajiv Gandhi chor hai'.

Congress is a religion and there's no bigger god than Gandhi-of-the-day.
Anyone offending Gandhi-of-the-day deserves the treatment.

SKK said...

Breaking News ;-)


Dilip D'Souza said...

Sanjit, is that report serious? I'm flummoxed.

Isn't there something about incitement to murder on the books that can apply to these Qureshis and their copycats?

Anonymous said...

Does "flummoxed" mean that I can't see satire even when it hits me on the head?

SKK said...

Dilip, it is difficult to say whether the report is correct but did find it on TOI too!

As far as the law having anything at all in place against the Qureshis, does it really matter?

First let us try and punish the Manu Sharmas!

Emma said...

1. How about Hindu deities as designs on shoes? More details here . The article also talks of footwear giant Nike facing a lot of flak for using the symbol Allah on a new range of training shoes.

2. Les Bronzes 3: Amis Pour La Vie (The Tanned 3, Friends Forever), the French equivalent of Carry On Films drew a lot of flak too for showing the main characters in the film swearing, laughing and tearing up images of Lord Shiva.

3. Also, Dioramas promoting Southern Comfort Whiskey in Greece depicted the Goddess Durga - the multi-armed deity - carrying bottles of Southern Comfort. Two-dimensional wooden displays of the wife of Lord Shiva and a unified symbol of all divine forces were displayed both inside and outside of the Balon Oriental Disco Bar in Athens. However, following protests from Hindus, Brown-Forman owners of the Southern Comfort brand the company withdrew the offending images.

4. VHP went up in arms against Roberto Cavalli (and of course by extension Sonia Gandhi). The Italian Designer's swimwear and lingerie collection was emblazoned with Hindu deities.

5. In the 1999 film Eyes Wide Shut verses from the Gita formed the background composition to Tom Cruise-Nicole Kidman lovemaking scene. The Hindu organisations in the US remonstrated against the use of the Gita verses in what was called "the orgy scene", and demanded the withdrawal of the recital from the film.

6. M F Husain and the paintings of the nude goddesses - Well known story. Several right wing Hindu organisations have raised a cry against Husain's series of paintings depicting Hindu gods and goddesses in the nude.

Anonymous said...

Rahul -
Are you plainly ignorant or just idiotic? Where have Hindu organisations targetted innocent Christians or Muslims just because of what Shabana Azmi or MF Hussain and their like have done? On the other hand look at how many Hindu shops have been looted and vandalized because of the cartoon row. In Nigeria there have been massacres of Christians.

Anonymous said...

A south african bank sent a piece of beef to its customers and asked them to "beef up" their accounts. The south african hindus were not very happy and the bank apologised and chickened out. ;-)

Anonymous said...

>>First let us try and punish the Manu Sharmas!

Is this Manu Sharma a Hindutvaadi who froths from the moth and disembowels feotus?
If not, why bring him up her and end fun on 'Death ends fun'?