Upset Hindus are urging for apology from The University of Sydney (USYD) for its student newspaper unnecessarily disparaging and trivializing Hinduism.
It was highly inappropriate and insensitive for the newspaper of a public research university to blatantly belittle Hinduism, world’s oldest and third largest religion with about 1.2 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought; distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said in Nevada (USA) today.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson and Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence to offer a formal apology to the Hindu community; and USYD to delete this objectionable article from website/online-edition of its student newspaper “Honi Soit”, besides withdrawing its print edition from digital platform Issuu and various main/satellite campus locations.
Rajan Zed indicated that a university, funded by tax dollars and student fees (many of whom were Hindu), should not be in the business of callously promoting dismissal of traditions, elements and concepts of “others”; and deriding entire communities.
Such an unwarranted and twisted misstatement, caricaturing and misrepresenting a religion revered by many, coming out of a public educational institution; was really shocking for the hard-working, harmonious and peaceful Hindu community; which had made lot of contributions to Australia and society in general; and continued to do so; Zed added.
Is this how Australia’s first university USYD founded 1850, which claims to regularly rank “in the world’s top 50 universities”, accomplishes its slogan “We make lives better”; Rajan Zed wonders.
Zed further said that Hindus were for free speech and artistic expression as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the devotees.
Rajan Zed also urged USYD and its Student’s Representative Council to re-evaluate its systems and procedures and send “Honi Soit” editors for cultural sensitivity training, so that such an inappropriate stuff did not slip through in the future.
This article, dated October 22, in the Culture section of “Honi Soit”, describes Hinduism as a 200-year-old invention. Weekly “Honi Soit” claims “Quality student journalism since 1929”, boasts itself as the “most vibrant and prestigious student publication in Australia” and seeks to be “counterpoint to the racism that plagues the mainstream media”.
Hinduism is one of the fastest growing religions in Australia, and according to 2016 census, formed 1.9% of the country’s population numbering at 440,300.