Sikhs go mad in Delhi
Jo Bole So Nihal is a Bollywood film which has been causing ructions in India for its allegedly “disrespectful” portrayal of Sikhs. The film’s title is apparently made up of words which hold special magical significance in Sikhism (it’s a battle cry), and there is a scene in which a Sikh man is chased by some scantily clad ladies. Last week the Panthic Weekly had reported rumblings of protest.
Last night a bomb rocked two cinemas in Delhi, killing one and injuring 49. An open letter to the Chair of the Indian Censor Board said,
I would like to inform you that this film will incite the Sikhs to react violently when the movie is released anywhere in India or anywhere in the world for that matter. The Sikhs may be small in numbers but they are a proud people and any interference or jugglery of their religious sentiments by any person, by word or movie, will not tolerated. We love and respect our religion and any misrepresentation of the same is sacrilegious and will be dealt with as such.
(Full text available at The Melon Farmers)
As the saying goes, the Sikhs have made a stand, will the Christians do the same?
Answer: no – not the Irish Catholic ones anyway. The Times reports the reaction of a few religious figures to a new Simpsons episode, where Catholic heaven is portrayed as an Irish theme bar featuring heavy drinking and fighting. The Protestant version is more staid: people spend eternity playing croquet and badminton. An uncharacteristically reasonable former archdeacon of Dublin is quoted:
It is wrong for anyone to set out intentionally to cause offence, especially in religious matters, but sometimes religious people take themselves far too seriously and take offence too easily. We have survived screen and strife for over 2,000 years, so we’re not going to get upset about a cartoon.