August 7, 2011
Shravan Shukla Navami, Kaliyug Varsha 5113
San Jose, USA. On Saturday, 6th August 2011, around 100 local Hindus and volunteers of Hindu organizations such as Forum for Hindu Awakening, Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh, Friends of India Society International, Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America and Hindu Yuva gathered in front of the San Jose Museum of Art. They held placards and shouted slogans, denouncing the denigration of Hinduism perpetrated by this publicly funded museum. The placards read, “It is not art, it is denigration”, “Community funds coming back to hurt the community”, “If Sita Sings the Blues, you have no clue”, “Nina Paley, why ridicule Lord Rama for your failed marriage ?” (Please see attached photos.) Thanks to the protestors distributing flyers about the issue, several movie goers skipped the denigrating film ‘Sita Sings the Blues’ being shown there and said they would protest to the Mayor and the museum.
The museum is hosting an exhibition on Hinduism and Sita, a deity revered by Hindus for Her chastity. The exhibition that will continue until 4th September 2011 includes anti-Hindu Late M. F. Husain’s painting that shows Sita naked. As a part of this exhibition, the museum had sold tickets to the denigrating film ‘Sita Sings the Blues’ show on 6th August at a nearby theatre. Hindus have found almost every scene of the film ‘Sita Sings the Blues’ denigrating, as it draws irreverent parallels between animator Nina Paley’s failed marriage and the sacred relationship between Hindus’ revered deities Rama and Sita.
Owing to the non-response from the museum, Forum for Hindu Awakening sought police permission to hold protest demonstrations outside the museum on 6th of August. The protestors that included children, adults and seniors alike, also held protest demonstrations outside the theatre, where the film ‘Sita Sings the Blues’ was being shown. Afterwards, the protestors had a meeting with the museum’s marketing director, who maintained vague responses, such as “Some people like the exhibition, while some others don’t” when asked why they did not consult a Hindu organization before putting up this exhibition.
Over 13,000 Hindus worldwide have joined Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s online protest campaign against this denigration. Several San Francisco Bay Area Hindus, including the Sunnyvale Hindu Temple have protested in writing or by calling the museum. Hindus are asking the Mayor of San Jose, “How can an art museum that receives substantial funding from the City of San Jose hold this exhibition that denigrates a certain section of its community ?!” Hindus are getting a standard response from the Mayor’s office: “The Mayor’s senior policy advisor has now contacted our Office of Cultural Affairs regarding this issue.” Supporters of Hinduism are urged to continue making their voice heard.
Source: Our Correspondent.