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The Denigration of Hindu Images

By Pandit Vamadeva Shastri (Dr. David Frawley)

June 25, 2006

Recently Hindus have begun protesting against how their sacred images are used in the modern media. In this regard, Hindus have been one of the last groups to take such a stance. Muslim and Christian groups have long been much more vociferous in expressing their concerns about how their religions are portrayed.

Hindu images have been used for every sort of commercialism, from being put on shoes in France to even toilet seats in the US. Hindu sacred chants have been used as the background for erotic scenes in modern movies. Yet it was only after making significant protests that Hindu concerns have even registered in the media. This is largely because the world media, dominated by western religious views, did not even consider a Hindu point of view as existent until Hindus began their protests.

Currently this issue has become highlighted relative to the works of the Indian artist MF Hussain. Hussain's work has been criticized by Hindus for portraying Hindu Deities in a disrespectful manner, by showing them naked and in non-sacred poses, much like nudes in western secular art. Read "The Hindu View of Art" for more details.

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