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Hindus demand apology from Finland Education Minister

News Release, Thu, 05 Mar 2009 NI Wire

Protest is spreading against the continuing display of photograph of a nude man with visible genitals shown as depiction of Hinduism in internationally acclaimed Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki.

This protest, spearheaded by US-based Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, has got the attention of more Hindu leaders who, besides removal of the controversial photograph, are demanding public apology from Finland Education Minister Henna Virkkunen whose ministry oversees Kiasma Museum. Hindus are finding it disrespectful, hurting and irreverent.

Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that continual showing of naked man, as a representation of Hinduism and sacred Pushkar despite protests and requests was very disturbing to already upset Hindu populace of the world.

Meanwhile, Jawahar L. Khurana, Chairperson of Hindu Alliance of India; Lila D. Sharma, President of India Heritage Panel; Dharam Loonaa, Executive Director of the Universal Society of Hinduism; Rakesh Nagpal, General Secretary of Shri Ramayan Pracharini Sabha; expressing resentment over this issue and supporting the cause espoused by Zed, have also stressed the immediate removal of the controversial photograph and public apology from Finland Education Minister Henna Virkkunen, Director General of the Finnish National Gallery Risto Ruohonen, Kiasma Director Brendt Arell, and award winning artist Marita Liulia.

Bhavna Shinde of Forum for Hindu Awakening, in a communiqué to Finland President Tarja Halonen and Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, said, “We urge you to immediately remove this photograph, as it is very hurtful to Hindu populace of the world and they feel highly offended. We do not understand why this derogatory photograph was allowed at the first place in a publicly funded museum.”

This controversial photograph “Hinduism: The Night of Pushkar 2” is on display till April 19 as part of Liulia’s “Choosing My Religion” multimedia exhibition in which her 72 art pieces juxtapose Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, and Animism. This exhibition will later travel to Tampere, Turku and Vaasa cities in Finland.

Sacred town of Pushkar (Rajasthan, India), on the shores of sacred Pushkar lake, dating back to fourth century BCE, is associated with Hindu Lord Brahma (God of creation) and finds mention in ancient Hindu scriptures.

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