Lord Desai condemns Hindu Human Rights Group

In a letter to the Guardian today Lord Desai, the Labour peer and academic, attacks the Hindu Human Rights Group believed to be behind the closure of the MF Husain exhibition at Asia House:

Hindu goddesses can be seen in a variety of poses which many may find erotic in the temples of Khajuraho and Tirupati … and many others. Hindu society and religion are remarkably relaxed and tolerant about sexual practices of human beings as well as of their gods and goddesses.

What we are witnessing is the import into the U.K. of a fanatical political group, which, under the guise of Hindu human rights, is practising censorship for which there is no sanction in Hindu religion. It is the duty of all citizens to stop this evil before it spreads too far into our body politic. The objection to Husain is not the so-called obscenity of his paintings. It is because he is a Muslim and hence, the Hindu fundamentalist groups deny his artistic freedom to take Hindu gods and goddesses as his theme.

Meanwhile, HHR have cancelled their planned demo this Saturday, and

would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those individuals and organisations that have supported our campaign and helped to let the voice of the Hindu community be heard. We will continue to monitor the situation and respond to any further developments.

They say are still waiting for an apology to the Hindu community.

Asia House is keeping very quiet, as is the rest of the UK media.

The vandals threw paint on two of the paintings, both of which depicted Hindu goddesses. (The Mother India picture which accompanies the original article on MWW was not part of the exhibition, although it did cause quite a bit of controversy in its time)

4 Responses to “Lord Desai condemns Hindu Human Rights Group”

  1. Stuart says:

    Just a thought – but if the portraits are images of deities who the protesters supposedly hold sacred (even thought they’re not happy with the way they’re portrayed) isn’t defiling them itself an act of sacrilege, or blasphemy?
    Can’t help thinking that at best these guys have not thought it through, or maybe they just don’t have a genuine faith-based objection, it’s something else.

  2. marc says:

    Control is what it is. That’s what it always is. See what we can control by crying, “Outrage!”

  3. Himadri says:

    Perhaps these defenders of the Hindu faith might want a look at the ancient Hindu sculptures in the Indian gallery in the British Museum. Gods & goddesses are depicted nude or semi-nude quite frequently. The walls of the ancient Hindu temples of Khajuraho in India are covered with erotic sculpture. (I was so disgusted, I went back to see them again!) Throughout India, in Shiva temples, the god Shiva is represented by a large phallic symbol. Maybe these Hindu groups want all of these banned as well.

    And perhaps these zealous Hindus ought to read the Ramayana, one of the great works of Hindu literature, and revered by millions of Hindus. In Chapter 9 of the first part (the “Balakanda”) the god Indra loses his testicles. And here is a passage from chapter 8 of the “Balakanda”, in the translation by Arshia Sattar, published by Penguin India:

    “Ganga assumed the form of a divinely beautiful woman. Agni [the Hindu god of fire] spilled his seed all over her the moment he saw her. She was drenched with Agni’s semen, even her veins seemed filled with it. Ganga cried out to Agni, who was priest of the Gods, ‘I cannot bear the intensity of your ejaculation!’ ”

    I’m not making this up, you know!

    And now, apparently, this exhibition is to be cancelled because it offends Hindus by showing naked goddesses. What a farce!

  4. Nick Cohen says:

    Yeh, HHR also wrote a reply to Lord Desai – check it out on their website: http://www.hinduhumanrights.org

    They also wrote one to me too because they were upset that I lied about what their spokesperson said to me in my column in the Observer. I think we should organise a big campaign against these Hindus. How dare they come into my country and have an opinion on what they find offensive and how dare they try and protest about it. I’d much rather that the immigrants here were like Lord Desai who couldn’t give a toss about Hindus being killed by religious fundos in Islamic countries and also promotes the Indian legal system which claims to be secular (like we all are) but in reality promotes every religion and fundo religious groups as long as they aren’t Hindu.

    Nick Cohen