Oct 21, 2015

Australian Couple Harrassed By BJP MLA, His Goons And Police In The Heart Of Bengaluru Over A Tattoo Of Goddess Yellama

Deepu Madhavan
Indian Times
October 19, 2015

If you thought that stupid religious fundamentalism was restricted to India's northern hinterlands which are devoid of both education and work, think again!
This one comes straight from Bengaluru - the refuge of all those Indians who want to make and spend major bucks away from parent's glare and a city which was once known for its tolerant and peaceful environ.
21-year-old Australian Matthew Gordon and his companion Emily Kassianou had no clue what they were getting into when they walked over to grab a meal at a popular South Indian eatery on Bangalore's famed Residency Road around 2 o'clock in the afternoon on Saturday. They found themselves right in the mix of a furore for no apparent reason as a totally jobless Saffron goon brigade, led by a BJP leader Ramesh Yadav, found their prey for the day.

Their crime: Matt has a tattoo of godess Yellamma on his shin. Yes! they were harassed because he adorned his body with a representational image of a divine persona. It is common for many Hindus to get such tattoos but then "How dare a foreigner do it?"

Well things escalated quickly after the jobless saffron brigade, who in earlier times would steer clear of Residency and Brigade road regions, spotted the duo and started taking images and making videos of the couple. “They were taking pictures and videos of us and talking about us in English,” Emily told Deccan Chronicle.

Since Matt had the tattoo on his shin, the defenders of Hinduism had a very sane and logical solution - let's skin his leg!!!

“One of them came to me and confronted me about my tattoo. Soon, they surrounded us and threatened to skin my leg and remove the tattoo,” a shaken Gordon, a law student, told The Hindu.

As the crowd grew from just a few men to around two dozen, polic arrived. Just as Matt thought his ordeal was over, the cop told him this, " This is India and one couldn’t sport such a tattoo on the leg.

Then the couple along with their local friend Abhishek was taken to the Ashok Nagar Police station nearby where the policemen forced him to tender a written apology to protesters. They were further reprimanded by the policemen and forced to wait for three hours before being let off with heavy advice on following Hindu traditions.

What's evening worse it the fact that DCP (central) Of Bengaluru Police termed the matter- a serious blot on the nation's secular stature - as trivial!
My forced letter of apology that I had to write before I could leave the police station at Ashok Nagar. I should not... Posted by Matt Keith on Sunday, October 18, 2015

The effect of such disturbing behaviour on tourism will surely be grave. Here's what Matt told the Deccan Chronicle after his ordeal, "I studied in a school in Kodaikanal and I love India, which is why we came back to visit. We have heard about the growing Hindu nationalism, but nothing justifies the way we were treated. I love Hinduism - I also have a Ganesha tattoo on my back. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong.”



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