Hindu stamp rage grows

The resentment felt by the Hindu Forum of Britain over not being consulted by the Royal Mail has been further stoked up by the Royal Mail’s refusal to withdraw the offending stamp.

Kishore Ruparelia, General Secretary of the Vishwa Parishad UK and Europe:

We strongly object to the stamp depicting a Hindu couple worshiping Baby Christ. We are followers of a culture which respects all religious [sic] and beliefs but this type of depiction is denigrating and undermines our religious sentiments.

And we all know how horrible it is to have our religious sentiments undermined…

We strongly advise Royal Mail to withdraw this stamp otherwise we intend to bring out a mass demonstration to protest abbout it. This is a deliberate attempt to dilute the thinking of ordinary Hindus.

A conspiracy too! Would that be a Christian conspiracy to dilute the thinking of ordinary Hindus, thereby rendering them more susceptible to Christianity, or a Secular Liberal Elite conspiracy to dilute traditional religious values in general?

Suggested methods of protest include sending unstamped letters to Royal Mail HQ, and taking part in a demonstration if they continue to refuse to withdraw the stamp.

Ratilal Chohan, General Secretary of the Hindu Council of the North:

We cannot accept the Royal Mail argument that the stamps have been distributed and cannot be recalled. […] If they had been a food chain with a product containing cancer causing agents on the shelves of their outlets, would they not withdraw them?

Not to overestate the seriousness of the issue.

17 Responses to “Hindu stamp rage grows”

  1. G. Tingey says:

    But they will worship a supposed diety with a human body and the head of an Elephant?

    Erm, errr …..

  2. Dena says:

    Jesus (Ishus) Kristna (Krishna), a Hindu deity. British put a stamp of approval on the worship.

  3. Sam says:

    If this image is so damn offensive why is it being displayed in a Hindu country?

  4. Dena says:

    “But they will worship a supposed diety with a human body and the head of an Elephant?”

    Lord Ganesha forgive you for your missive, “supposed diety.” All animate and inanimate universe is pervaded by Eternal Bliss, the Supreme Truth.

    People call God by different names and worship Him/Her in different forms, based on their inclination. All paths eventually lead to the same Eternal, Omniscient, Omnipotent Brahman. The spark of divinity is in you and me and in all universe. That’s why you respect animals, plants, earth, and view Him in all. This is environmentally friendly and life-sustaining.

    Royal Mail has honored the world’s oldest faith, and acknowledged Kristna-nity’s roots in Sanatana Dharma (the inclusive non-dogmatic universal way of Right living) and declared that worshipping Jesus is a Hindu act, practiced by all Krishtnians.

  5. Dena says:

    First of all, India is not a Hindu country, it is a secular country with Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Moslems, Zorastrians, atheists, agnostics, and many others.

    It is no more a Hindu country than Britain or America are Christian countries. Presidents, Prime Ministers, and cabinet ministers have been Christians, Moslem, and Sikh. Can you say that about the Western countries?

  6. Dena says:

    The image is not offensive, the timing and purpose is, to most Hindus, not all. Instead of issuing a Diwali stamp(s) during the Festival of Lights this year, the postal service pushed downed the throats of the Hindu community a stamp they will use for sending greetings home showing them bowing to Jesus. How would you like a stamp showing Western couples wearing crosses worshipping Baby Buddha, Krishna, Mahavir, Mohammad, Nanak, Zarathushtra, or a Native American, Peruvian, African, or Celtic God baby?

    Because zealous missionaries with billions of dollars from overseas convert poor, uneducated, and marginalized Hindus with bribes of money and promises of jobs, mail going from England with stamps showing Hindus worshipping Jesus are provocative and hit a sore spot.

    Hindus do not only tolerate, but felicitate diversity, and will come to your churches, synagogues, and mosques (if they could) and try to understand your religion and learn from it. Many Christians and others also study Vedas and go to the temples. So long as this is voluntary it is fine. Most Hindus voluntarily honor deities of other religions (Buddha, Nanak, Mahavir, even Jesus.) It’s their prerogative. Just because statues of Hindu and Buddhist gods are displayed in British and American museums, would it be correct to say, “Why are the Christians so damn offended by stamps showing them worshipping Lord Ganesha?”

    When I first learned about the timing and the intent of the stamps, I was upset. However, my faith tells me not to raise my blood pressure and abuse my body which is the prime means of Dharma (doing good) in this world. I am taking the mellow approach that this is the Kristna baby the couple is worshipping.

    The British postal service issued stamps with religious theme under pressure from religious groups upset over commercialization of Christmas and only 5% of Britons going to church. Unlike countries like India and US, England has a state-sponsored chuch, the Church of England. They could have very easily issued a Madonna stamp without involving other religions. One reason put forth is that they chose this picture because it is from the Mughal period. Are Britons naive, insensitive, or callous? I don’t think so. If you make an honest mistake, hurt people’s feelings, you apologize, and cease the offending act. It’s like stepping on someone’s toes and refusing to lift your shoes because it will be inconvenient.

  7. Andy Gilmour says:

    Ah, we have a new resident “interesting” supernaturalist. Welcome, Dena. Personally, I would be perfectly happy to see stamps depicting people (real or fictional) of any supernaturalist tendency showing veneration to any other tendency. I would prefer to see stamps that celebrate real human achievements rather than mythical stories that have inspired centuries of bloodshed and persecution, but then that’s just me…

    By the way, isn’t today the last day (of 4) in the 21st anniversary of certain events in India where Hindus promoted diversity somewhat directly to members of the sikh community? And aren’t the BJP such nice fellows?

    Oh, and unfortunately, the UK is technically a religious state. Well, England certainly is. The Head of State (the unelected, undemocratic, and deeply useless monarchy) is the head of the established church. PLUS there are those pesky Bishops sitting in the House of Lords, directly interfering with the democratic process (not that we have genuinely representative democracy, but that’s a whole other issue all to itself…).

    I’m afraid you’re being deeply irrational, though. This stamp depicts a historical painting. Done in India. Most likely by an Indian. Maybe a Hindu/moslem/zoroastrian/freethinker? (if anyone knows what supernaturalism, if any, the artist followed, do tell…). Maybe they were trying to foster better community relations? The point is, you yourself said “Most Hindus voluntarily honor deities of other religions (Buddha, Nanak, Mahavir, even Jesus.) It’s their prerogative.” And what does this stamp depict? So the offence is exactly…?

    Trying to deny freedom of speech on grounds of causing offence, using supernatural “authority” as the basis for the censorship really doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.



  8. G. Tingey says:

    Has anyone else read
    “Lord of Light” by the late, great Roger Zelazny?

    Mahsamatman ( who preferred to leave out the “maha” and atman”) who discovered a way to enlightenment, and was persecuted for his findings, and was said to be an Avatar of Visnu.

    Read it.

    In the meantime, though, Hindism is a religion – why should we respec itt, any more than the other loads of old tosh?

    Incidentally, I think Ganesh is fun – but he’s still an imaginary friend.

  9. Dena says:

    “In the meantime, though, Hindism is a religion – why should we respec itt, any more than the other loads of old tosh?”

    Excacty. Kristna-nity is a religion. Why should Hindus welcome pictures depicting them worshipping Jesus?

    “I would prefer to see stamps that celebrate real human achievements rather than mythical stories that have inspired centuries of bloodshed and persecution, but then that’s just me…” Totally agree with you here, Andy, regarding fanaticism and persecution. I live in the land founded by people driven out of England where they were persecuted. Hindus have never carried out bloody campaigns to convert others with an eye often to loot and conquer lands.

    Religion, politics, and greed have been intertwined all over the world, no religion an exception, differences only of degree. We need to respect each other’s feelings, views, and consistently do unto others what we would like done unto ourselves. That’s the point of my posts. If you don’t want to get mail with stamps showing people who look like you worshipping Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Moslem, Sikh, Zorastrian deities, don’t do it yourself. If you have done so, take them back. What price is goodwill among religions, nations, and communities?

    When people are upset, their blood pressure and sugars go up and immunity goes down. They waste time on protests, become distrustful and isolated, and cannot live in harmony with others. This destroys strong bonds between communities, healing relationships, and peaceful co-existence. Stress, despair, negativity builds up and sucks energy of individual and society. Dis-ease builds and affects all.

    Bringing up the mobs that have lynched innocents in all continenents of the world, including unfortunately in modern India, has nothing to do with Britain putting out a proselytyzing stamp in time for Diwali to be used for mailing letters overseas where conversions are in full force. No one knows the artist or the circumstances in which she drew the picture. Maybe it was a work for hire commissioned by non-Hindus aimed at conversions or to show a more inclusive view.

    I will never endorse activities that hurt others’ religious feelings. The idea of a stamp depicting Christians worshipping others’ deities was meant to make people think. All Hindus want is to remove those stamps.

    I am not following this thread. There are more constructive things in this world. I believe in the essential goodness of human nature, and it will prevail.


  10. Flotsam says:

    Sorry to drag this trademark stuff up again when there’s a elephant-worshipper around but it struck me today that the name Adobe must also be trademarked. Given that adobe is an Arabic word for a type of mixed earth/water contruction method used widely in dry areas does this mean that Adobe’s name is quite literally mud?

  11. stuart says:

    I heard a comment on Radio 4 last night by a woman who I remember from another story is a Hindi representative on the BBC’s religious advisory committee – not normally given to tolerance as regular visitors of this site will know! She seemed to take the view that there could be little offensive about a picture originally commissioned by a prince who may have been Moslem but interested in West European culture and painted by an artist who may have been Hindi.
    As I recall from a Newsnight item a few months ago, Vishwa Parishad UK are linked to an Indian organisation which seems to promote extreme tactics against other Indian religions, and the Hindu Forum of Britain, which claims to represent some 250 UK Hindi organisations, has been effectively taken over by them using tactics similar to the ones the SWP use to take over globalisation or anti-racist campaigns (i.e. swamp the meeting and make it difficult for anyone else to get in or speak). Older Hindi groups were worried by this.
    On the other hand, I also note that the Anglican Synod a few months back voted to get the Post Office to remove snowmen, parcels and snowflakes from Christmas stamps and stick to Christian imagery, so a bit of live and let live on all sides might improve things. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few stamps reflecting the various cultures of modern UK, as most have something to celebrate about the upcoming season, but I guess whatever the PO do someone from a rival religion will complain the other lot got a better stamp!

  12. tom p says:

    Stuart – I heard the same piece I think. I heard, on pm, a (hindu) indian art historian and one other person pointing out that the people whingeing were merely regurgitating a right-wing hindu nationalist myth. I think it’s about 20-odd minutes in if anyone wants to go to listen again.

  13. Dena says:

    Thank you Britons, for withdrawing the stamp. Best wishes for a harmonious, peaceful, and joyous
    co-existence. There is a great gap of understanding between cultures and religions, but you have
    taken a “giant leap for humanity.”

    Let’s forget what was said and done, and look ahead to a bright future together as friends.


  14. Andrew Nixon says:

    If your idea of friendship is stamping your feet to get rid of something that offends your religous delusions, then I’d prefer to be your enemy.

  15. Andy Gilmour says:

    Next time will they threaten to scweam and scweam and scweam until they’re sick?

    We’ll have a bright future as friends once the supernaturalists give up their irrational, dogmatic claims to truth. Oh, and stop using their precious “holy books” as an excuse to persecute others, allow freedom of expression, and base their epistemiology on evidence, not drug/starvation/frenzy-induced “revealed truths”…

    Might take a while..

  16. […] The exhibition included paintings of nude Hindu goddesses, which provoked the ire of the Hindu Human Rights Group and the Hindu Forum of Britain – the group previously known for the upstink they kicked over “sacrilegious” Xmas postage stamps. […]

  17. Irene Williams says:

    All people in this Country who object to Muslims standing over Baby Jesus,it is
    one way of accepting Muslims in a Christian Country. As they seem to object to
    the Christmas stamps, do as I did last Christmas refuse the stamps and buy
    the usual ones with Our Queen on them, last year there was a choice of a Black
    Face and/or a Brown Face, so I just purchased the usual stamps. I fail to
    understand why the Royal Mail are doing this, or could it be that the majority
    of their staff ae not Christians?