Nevada, USA, March 8, 2017
Perturbed Hindus are urging the immediate withdrawal of Krishna in Erskineville art exhibition from a gallery of Sydney suburb Darlinghurst, reportedly showing Hindu Deity Lord Krishna brandishing a meth pipe.
‘Krishna in Erskineville’ at ESD Gallery, described as “A series of embroidered works by Leon Fernandes that cheekily represent some of the issues around ethnicity, religion, sexuality and drug use,’ is scheduled to run till March 20, 2017.
The Universal Society of Hinduism urges the ESD Gallery to withdraw this exhibition as it trivialised Hinduism’s highly revered deity Lord Krishna and reimagined other highly revered deities Lord Ganesh and Goddess Durga.
This Gallery is part of East Sydney Doctors, which, opened in 1984, includes 17 doctors (including a University of Sydney professor), besides psychologists, nurses, allied health practitioners and an international medical research team.
They provide patient-care and medical-education and contribute to medical-research.
Heather Farlow is the Practice Manager, while Gordon R. Carmichael is gallery curator.
Reimaging Hindu scriptures and Deities for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the feelings of devotees. Lord Krishna, Lord Ganesh, Goddess Durga and other Hindu deities were meant to be worshipped in Temples and home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely in reimagined versions.
Hindus are for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees. Artists should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects.
Hindus welcome the art world to immerse in Hinduism, taking it seriously and respectfully and not for refashioning Hinduism concepts and symbols for personal agendas.
The depicted image of Lord Krishna in this exhibition, reportedly brandishing a meth pipe in place of his usual flute, is simply improper and out of place.
Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. No faith, larger or smaller, should be mishandled.
Lord Krishna is the Eighth Avatar (Incarnation) of Lord Vishnu and the subject of major Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita (Song of the Lord) and Bhagavad-Purana.
Rajan Zed is President of the Universal Society of Hinduism based in Nevada, USA.