a diwali gift from the brits to hindus.
latest news: the royal mail has apologized but refused to withdraw the stamps.
you know, a couple of bombs in strategic places and a riot or two (like the mohammedans are doing in paris) would fix the brits' attitude towards hindus in a jiffy. hindus need to cultivate a few suicide bombers. that is the way to get respect, alas, these days; not tolerance and being civilized.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Info@transputec.com < Info@transputec.com>
Date: Nov 2, 2005 3:17 AM
Subject: Please forward: URGENT HINDU PROTEST AGAINST ROYAL MAIL REFUSAL TO WITHDRAW INSENSITIVE STAMP
On behalf of national and regional Hindu organisations in the UK, we ask you to kindly protest to Royal Mail about their refusal to withdraw a stamp that is seen as insensitive and inappropriate to Hindu sentiments. The stamp shows two Hindus worshiping Baby Christ in a manner that many Hindus feel is inappropriate because of the issues surrounding conversions and evangelisation in India.
Royal Mail have categorically said they cannot withdraw it because they have already sent it to 17000 Post Offices. Royal Mail have IT software that can enable them to send a message to every clerk in every Post Office counter to ask them to stop selling the stamps, but yet they have chosen not to do so. Therefore we URGE YOU TO PASS THIS LETTER TO EVERYONE ON YOUR EMAIL LIST AND PROTEST IN THE FOLLOWING WAY:
1. Write a letter of protest and send it to Royal Mail Headquarters 148 Old Street LONDON EC1V 9HQ T without affixing a postage stamp. The Hindu Forum hopes that hundreds of letters will be sent in this way clogging the local post office where the letters will be accumulated for collection, thus causing a logistical nightmare worse than withdrawing the stamp.
2. Send a letter of protest by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Send a letter of protest by email to Barry Gardiner MP, Minister for Efficiency at the Department of Trade and Industry who is responsible for Royal Mail to email@example.com Barry Gardiner is a good friend of the Hindu community and will certainly take note of Hindu sentiments!
3. Stop buying the offensive stamp when sold by a Post Office counter and insist on another stamp of similar denomination
4. Write to your local MP explaining why they should ask the Post Office to withdraw the stamp
5. Ask all your friends and relatives to send letters of protest without affixing postage stamps. Each individual can even send ten or more letters to increase the volume of mail reaching the post office without stamps.
6. Take part in the mass protest march that will be announced at a suitable time if Royal Mail continue their refusal to withdraw the stamp.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS LETTER TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE AND TAKE PART IN THE PROTEST BY WRITING LETTERS WITHOUT STAMPS AND BY SENDING EMAILS.
REGARDS FROM THE TEAM AT
THE HINDU FORUM OF BRITAIN
Royal Mail refusal to withdraw stamp will lead to mass protests by British Hindus
2 November 2005 - Hindus in Britain are organising new ways of protesting after Royal Mail yesterday refused to consider a request by the Hindu Forum of Britain to withdraw a Christmas stamp featuring Hindus worshipping Jesus Christ. Hindu leaders from national and regional organisations across UK were quick to join the Hindu Forum of Britain in supporting its request for a withdrawal of the stamp.
The stamp features the picture of a man and a woman with Hindu markings worshipping baby Christ. The man has a 'tilak' marking on his forehead clearly identifying him as a Vaishnava Hindu and the woman has the traditional 'kumkum' mark on her forehead identifying her as a married Hindu lady.
"After Royal Mail refused to withdraw the stamp, Hindu leaders representing some of the largest organisations across UK have informed us that they will take this matter straight to the community to protest about it," explained Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain. "It has now caused even greater resentment since Royal Mail had not even originally consulted us before the stamp was issued. We could easily have offered them advice on a suitable depiction of the Mother and Child image that would not have offended anybody."
The stamp is priced at 68 p, which is the amount of postage for letters to India. "They have shown utter disregard for the issue of evangelical conversions in India," explained Jo Thanki President of the Hindu Council of Birmingham. "Many newspapers in India have reported that evangelical churches linked to terrorist organisations in the North West region of India have intimidated tribals at gun points into conversion. It is therefore a deeper issue that Royal Mail seem to have not addressed."
"We strongly object to the stamp depicting a Hindu couple worshiping Baby Christ. We are followers of a culture which respects all religious and beliefs but this type of depiction is denigrating and undermines our religious sentiments," said Kishore Ruparelia, General Secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK and Europe. "We strongly advise Royal Mail to withdraw this stamp otherwise we intend to bring out a mass demonstration to protest abbout it. This is a deliberate attempt to dilute the thinking of ordinary Hindus."
Hindu leaders now plan to start mass mailing of letters without stamps to the Royal Mail headquarters to clog the post office at Old Street, letters of protest by email to the Royal Mail and DTI and lobbying with friendly Parliamentarians. If Royal Mail continue their refusal to withdraw the stamp a mass protest outside their headquarters in London is also being planned.
"We cannot accept the Royal Mail argument that the stamps have been distributed and cannot be recalled," confirmed Ratilal Chohan, General Secretary of the Hindu Council of the North. "If they had been a food chain with a product containing cancer causing agents on the shelves of their outlets, would they not withdraw them?"
A Royal Mail spokesperson confirmed on BBC today that they had consulted the Museum in Mumbai where the painting hangs, but could have done more to consult Hindus widely.
Hindu leaders identified that Royal Mail had the necessary information technology and resources to withdraw the stamp but did not seem willing to use it.
"Royal Mail have appropriate distributed systems software to send a message to every Post Office counter asking them to stop sale of the stamp," explained Venilal Vaghela, Chair of the Hindu Council of Brent. "Yet they are showing unwillingness to withdraw it and this does not sound good enough."
"We are appalled and shocked that they chose to do this without consulting the community," commented Sheila Maharaja, spokesperson for the Hindu Human Rights group. "Now they are saying that they cannot even request Post Office counters to stop selling them by sending a simple message that will take them ten minutes to create. This is the height of irresponsible behaviour in public service."
"Royal Mail explained that it was a piece of art and could therefore not be offensive," said Raman Barber, President of the Sanatan Hindu Temple in Leicester. "But just because something is a piece of art does not mean it is appropriate to be put on public display in a way that offends people. I have seen portraits of Jesus Christ offering respects to Lord Krishna as His Supreme Father. While they are perfectly appropriate inside a Hindu temple, it would be unacceptable for it to be used as a stamp."