THIS is apropos of the story regarding the ban on a band of girls in occupied Kashmir.

At the same time, a young Hindu contemporary artist in India was prevented by Indian extremists from exhibiting his paintings because they and the extremist religious BJP felt that this would injure Hindu sentiments.

Although the artist’s father, a lawyer and member of the Indian Supreme Court Bar, clarified and protested on the media that there was no legality in this action and that it infringed upon the right to free speech.

And in spite of the artist community protesting and explaining that nudity was a part and parcel of the Hindu religion, culture and mythology and its art wwere naturally a reflection of the same.

A statuette, worshipped for thousands of years, of a Hindu goddess in the buff was shown on Indian TV as an example by a senior woman artist protesting this ban.

This same artist also wondered why it was normal for groups of hundreds of Sadhus or holy men in the nude to participate in religious melas and festivals with no objection from the thousands of ultra religious Hindu participants of all genders, classes and ages.

She said further that on the same day as the art show was banned she saw a group of about 25 nude religious men walking near a Delhi flyover, further reinforcing the fact that nudity even in urban areas is an accepted part of Hinduism.

Why was this important piece of news not picked up?

The point is why do we have this irresistible urge to beat ourselves and our religion down and overlook transgressions of other religions? Was it lazy journalism? Was it a western worldview, i.e. Islam - bashing? This calls for an editorial policy review.

If the occupied Kashmir band story was picked, so should have been the other one. Both took place simultaneously and both were public display of religious intolerance and extremism. And both were equally headlined in Indian media when they took place.

NIGHAT MIR Karachi

Updated Feb 09, 2013 03:52am

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Comments (Closed)


Tahir
Feb 09, 2013 08:11am
Honestly, I didn't get the gist of the letter contents.
Jack
Feb 09, 2013 10:44am
True but think what would have happened if he had depicted the prophet the way salman Rushdie had written
Mirza Imran Ahsan
Feb 09, 2013 11:09am
Nighat I suggest look into religious intolerance in Pakistan first. India may have 1000th portion to what Pakistan has become. Introspection is more required from you rather blaming Indian BJP at this stage. Don't you Talibanisation of Pakistan and religious biggotary spreading far and wide in the country or are you blind?
MKB
Feb 09, 2013 12:06pm
Nudity has nothing to do with Hinduism. But yes some Shadu who denounce all worldly act, prefer to stay nude. Some preacher of Jain sect also (Dhigambar) prefer stay nude. Hinduism is philosophy of many divergent views and act. So it is not only confined to a single book or theories. Veda, Upahanishad are complied by human excellencies over thousands of year. The withdrawing of some art object from a New Delhi gallery was a right decision. Though Hinduism is not such fragile religion that a mere deception of some of its Goddess in a bad manner will damage its reputation, but it may give the opportunity to some fringe element to disrupt the event. In the case of Kashmir all girl band, it is mockery and hypocrisy, may be politically motivated. There are many Kashmiri woman who become famous as a singer in the past . Kashmir's social context also allows girls or woman to sing or dance during any festival. More over there are many Muslim singer, actress of fame in India's glittering film industry in the past or present. Nobody had issued any Fatwa against them Another simple question, If singing by girl is un-Islamic, is the intimidation, threatening (including rape and burning) by some youth to those girl in the social media is Islamic? Why then the grand Mufti is silent on this issue?
Syed Ahmed
Feb 09, 2013 04:02pm
Dual standards.
zak
Feb 09, 2013 08:27pm
So what you are saying is that people should be allowed to walk in public without any cloths on and nobody must complain about that. You argue that this freedom of expression must be allowed otherwise it is "religious intolerance and extremism". Can people go any lower with their sickness?
Art
Feb 10, 2013 03:08am
My guess, because despite overwhelming public support the band gave in to the mufti while the art gallery refused to take down the paintings.