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Goddess tattoo angers Hindu zealots

Goddess tattoo angers Hindu zealots

Angry Hindus threatened to ‘skin’ a young Australian visitor to India after they spotted an ‘offensive’ tattoo on one of his shins.

The image 21-year-old Matthew Gordon chose to have inked on the leg depicts fertility goddess Yellamma – and this prompted around a dozen right-wing Hindu nationalists target the tourist and his girlfriend Emily Kassianou, 20, in the southern city of Bangalore at the weekend.

The activists said the tattoo offended their religious sentiments, and they ordered him to remove it.

Gordon told police that the men had threatened to skin his leg if he did not remove the tattoo. He said:

I was relieved to see a policeman, but much to my shock he started to blame me, and said: ‘This is India and we are insulting Hindus’.

He then took me to the station … we were forced to sit there for three hours. They let me go only after I gave an apology saying I will cover this tattoo.

Tensions between Gordon and the activists eased only after he wrote a letter of apology addressed to a local police inspector in which he agreed to hide his tattoo while in India.

Police said yesterday they had obtained CCTV footage of the incident and were taking it seriously. Bangalore deputy police commissioner Sandeep Patil was quoted here as saying:

We  will act against them [the activists] if they are guilty.

Gordon, a law student, said he had a strong attachment to the Hindu faith after spending three years in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

He said he had another tattoo on his back of the Hindu elephant god, Ganesh, that took 35 hours to complete.

These tattoos mean a lot to me. I’m not sporting them because of their exoticism. I know the mythology and the values of the gods inked on me.

11 responses to “Goddess tattoo angers Hindu zealots”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    I know the mythology and the values of the gods inked on me.
    Mythology being the operative word. As for values, a quick Google search suggests about £125 an hour for a reasonable artist. Apart from that they are worthless.

  2. John the Drunkard says:

    Since the Rushdie fatwa, and especially since 9/11, the theo-fascists are flexing their muscles world wide. From the Tea Party in the Confederacy, to the Buddhist-led pogroms of Myanmar. They have learned that intimidation and violence will get their commands obeyed. AND, that the majority of the ‘good’ will do nothing…because religion.

  3. RussellW says:

    John the Drunkard,

    Agreed, we have all been worried about the jihad, however there are many other religious manias around and Hindu nationalism is a particularly virulent form. The current Indian PM, Modi has a particularly sinister record in state politics.

    Another example of a naive Western tourist.

  4. Zombiehunter says:

    I’m wondering that since using violence and intimidation has worked for certain muslims that we will see the same tactics being employed by those of other faiths, this incident and others involving hindu’s (eg dragging girls out of bars and beating them in the street) and Sikhs in this country breaking up mixed marriages and storming movie theatres has me convinced I may be right.

  5. L.Long says:

    ALL religions at their core is pure BS, with a good injection of bigotry and hate for the other. Hindodo is no different, anything based on the imaginary, irrational, and dogma is able to be corrupted to the extreme.

  6. Trevor Blake says:

    Beheadings, child rape, inbreeding and suicide bombers bother my sincerely held beliefs. When do I get my turn to not be offended? Or is it only religion that gets a turn?

  7. AgentCormac says:

    I think we both know the answer to that one, Trevor Blake. They have a monopoly on it!

  8. Lucy1 says:

    Must be some mistake, Hinduism is all soft and gentle. India is the land of enlightenment. They know deep truths us westerners know not of…bollocks.

  9. Cali Ron says:

    @Zombiehunter: You give islam to much credit. None of these tactics is new. They have been employed by many religions for years. Current champion of religious fascism is islam, but christianity has had it’s day on the throne of totalitarianism, too. In fact, I would say every major religion has used these tactics. Even buddhism has recently used violence as articles here have shown. Final analysis: All religions suck.

  10. dennis says:

    religion starts out non-violent but ends up violent. I hope we atheist leave this violence in history (Stalin and others.) Atheist purity belongs in facts, logic, science and humility.