Upset Hindus are seeking apology from New York City (NYC) Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Farina over reported appearance of a mural in a middle school in Queens depicting its principal as multi-armed Hindu goddess; saying it was trivializing of their venerated deity.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Hindu goddesses were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used indecorously or thrown around loosely in reimagined versions for dramatic effects in a public school premises; which reportedly had considerable number of Hindu students.
How a mortal could be depicted as goddess, who was the director of our destinies, Zed, who is the President of Universal Society of Hinduism, asked and added that inappropriate usage of Hinduism concepts and symbols for pushing selfish agenda was not okay.
Rajan Zed indicated that it was unnecessary dragging of a Hindu deity in a school mural and urged NYC Department of Education to publish a disclaimer about this on its website along with proper explanation about Hindu goddesses.
Zed noted that Hinduism was 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 ridiculed at.
Rajan Zed pointed out that Hindus understood that the purpose of school mural in this case apparently was not to denigrate Hinduism, but casual flirting like this sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols and hurting the devotees.
Zed further said that Hindus welcomed educational institutions to immerse in Hinduism but taking it seriously and respectfully and not just for improper showing of Hindu symbols and concepts to advance their selfish agenda. Hindus were for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at misusing it hurt the devotees.
The NYC Department of Education operates the public schools in New York City and is the largest system of schools in the United States, serving about 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools.
There are about three million Hindus in USA.