Nov 7, 2005

Christmas Stamp deemed offensive by "HHR"

Okay, so what the hell is this, you may ask? It's a stamp in the UK, that the organization Hindu Human Rights (what that is, I'm not clear) is protesting. From their press release:

We at Hindu Human Rights would like to express our growing concern at the reaction of the Royal Mail to protests by Hindu groups here in the UK. For those that are not aware of the situation, the Royal Mail has issued Christmas stamps depicting an offensive painting of Hindus worshipping Jesus. So far the Royal Mail has shown a dismissive and apathetic attitude towards the concerns expressed by the Hindu community and it is for this reason that we have chosen to voice our opinion on this matter.

For the rest of this, go here.

Hindu Human Rights seems like a small fringe group from the UK. Check out the choice quote:

"To our knowledge the Royal Mail has not consulted with any mainstream Hindu organisation or group before deciding to use Hindu imagery for their Christmas stamps. It is precisely because of this ignorant behaviour, which we have found to be quite prevalent, that we find ourselves in this situation.

For many this may seem like a trivial and harmless matter but we ask people to look into the wider context of this issue. There is a deep irony in that, because while the Royal Mail is issuing stamps depicting Hindus with tilaks (head markings) worshipping the Jesus, Hindus in Christian-dominated North-eastern India are banned from even walking down the street with those tilaks and face attacks from Christian Extremists if they even dare to openly perform any Hindu worship."

I don't know if they are legit, and of course, there are human rights violations taking place against Hindus, but I tend to be more skeptical about motives sometimes. Maybe I should check that. Regardless, this is an interesting story.

1 comment:

Rage said...

I'm actually more curious about this the more that I think about it, actually. I mean - is this supposed to be some twisted colonial tool, or is this an acknowledgement of multiple narratives concerning Jesus/saviors/holy babies?

I don't know the context for the stamp's creation, but if you want to do an alt-read of it (though of course, this is the Royal Mail, rather than some small liberal magazine with a bent towards the subversive, but still... wouldn't it be fascinating if this could be read as an alternate telling of the mythology of the birth of Jesus?

Regardless, why does HHR have a stick up their bums about this anyway? Aren't Hindus supposed to be more tolerant than other groups that they demonize? As an uncle once said, isn't Jesus the brother of Ganesh, in a manner of speaking?