(Via Amy Welborn)
The Royal Mail apologises for issuing a Christmas stamp, part of a series featuring representations of "mother and child" from different cultures, which was considered by some as an insult to Hindus!
"We thought it insensitive and inappropriate," said Ramesh Kallidai of the Hindu Forum of Britain.The Royal Mail as part of an international evangelical Christian conspiracy to convert unsuspecting Hindus who get Christmas cards this winter from Britain. Gimme a friggin break. And enough already with this "we're offended" bullsh**t. What next, angry mobs of British Hindus marching on the neighborhood post-office? (Remember the Behzti flap?). Maybe those peaceniks in the VHP or the RSS will get wind of this and burn a bus or two in front of the British Council Library in Nariman Point. SHEESH
"The markings on the foreheads immediately say the male person is a Hindu Vaishnava (one who worships Vishnu) and the lady is a Hindu lady and they are worshipping Jesus Christ," he told BBC radio.
"In India, the conversion agenda of evangelical Christians is a major emotive issue."
According to the Royal Mail, the image is from a 17th century Mughal painting. It's in the Prince of Wales Museum in Bombay (oh good lord, they've change it's name to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj museum. Is everything in Bombay to be named after him?). Quite intriguing, and makes me wonder what the historical context of its painting would be. Maybe it was an evangelical conspiracy. Just maybe, you know, Christian Indians can worship their Lord and be painted doing so. Be assured I'll be checking it out on my next trip ... :) Besides, I've not been to the Museum in ages.
For anyone across the pond -- could you send me a postcard with this offensive stamp please? :)
:: Update ::
Ok, now that I've calmed down after my initial apoplexy, I have a few other thoughts. I posted theese comments on Amy's blog:
Anyway, now that I've seen the BBC article, I can also see the point, a little. About the tilak, at least. Though, I don't agree that it's insensitive to 21st century tastes.
Besides, I can imagine many a Hindu lady, tilak and all, praying to an image of Christ, or the Cross, in her household pooja, along with other gods. I don't have to imagine it. I've seen it. That's just the Hindu sensibility. But not, apparently, as far as the Hindu Forum in Britain is concerned.