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India Ban tattoos if found hurting a religious community

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Archived_Member16, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    Ban tattoos if found hurting a religious community

    Harish Dido - Merinews - 18 June 2013


    The Sikh clergy has decided against accepting an apology from those tattooing the verses from the Gurbani (holy verses) or even Ek Onkar (first words in Guru Granth Sahib - the holy book of Sikhs). The Sikh clergy has recommended filing of an FIR against the violators under Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for hurting the sentiments of the community. In fact, tattooing has been in practice since 3300 BC of Neolithic times. In northern India, permanent tattoos are called ‘Godna.’ Tattoos have been used as cultural symbols among many tribal populations, as well as the caste-based Hindu population of India. Henna was popular in ancient India and ancient Egypt, and still remains popular today in the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and North Africa.

    The tattoo marks still could be seen on the old people, who used to have on their forehead as star and crescent, birds, own or the name of their beloved one, Om in Hindi, etc. It was perhaps done to look different or out of love for the image of the tattoo.

    Tattoo on a particular part of the body also carries special significance. A tattoo that is placed on the chest is often a symbol of love and affection, since the image is drawn close to the person's heart. Small tattoos can be inscribed on the middle finger, since this finger was previously believed to have a blood vessel that was directly connected to the heart.

    In recent years, forearm tattoos were a growing trend with men, but several women have decided to get body art on this part of the body as well. The forearm is said to represent toughness or strength, and many people get a forearm tattoo to bring attention to their well-toned muscles. The tattoo also serves as motivation to keep this part of the body looking its best. A tattoo on the neck usually means that someone is risky or daring and tends to make bold choices. A back tattoo could give the impression that a person is mysterious or somewhat shy.

    There are religions prohibitions and permissions having tattoo on body apart from different views of keeping the tattoo on body. In Jews, having a tattoo does not prohibit participation, and one may be buried in a Jewish cemetery and participate fully in all rituals.

    In Muslims, the act of tattooing is seen as a form of mutilation. Besides, ablutions that are carried out before prayers remain incomplete as water fails to reach the skin of the tattooed part. Though there are sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which say a clear NO to tattoos, but many Muslims get their tattoos done.

    In Christians, there is no prohibition against tattooing within the Catholic Church, provided that the tattoo is not an image directly opposed to Catholic teaching or religious sentiment, and that an inordinate amount of money is not spent on the process. At the Catholic council of Calcuth in Northumberland in 786, a Christian bearing a tattoo "for the sake of God" (i.e. a religious tattoo in the form of a cross, a monogram of Christ, or a saint's image) was commended as praiseworthy.

    Film actors have been seen tattooing Sikh religious symbols on their body to grab media attention which ‘hurts’ religious feelings of the community and that is why they want FIR registered against such people.

    The Sikh clergy took this decision during a meeting at the Akal Takht (highest temporal seat of the Sikhs) following complaints of tattooing of verses from the Gurbani and the Siri Sahib (sacred sword) on the forearm of Hindi and Punjabi film actor Neeru Bajwa. Earlier, Bollywood actor Mandira Bedi also drew the ire of Sikhs for tattooing Ek Onkar on her back in 2007 and on her nape in 2010.

    However, the clergy has also directed the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to approach the government for making amendments in Section 295 (deliberately hurting the religious feelings of any community by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representation) of IPC to prevent taking of the Guru Granth Sahib to tombs or mausoleums. The high priests have also sought suggestions from Sikh intellectuals to maintain the honour of the Guru Granth Sahib.

    On one hand, a comment posted by H. Singh from Delhi on an article regarding the issue, says: “It is very unfortunate that somebody is using the Gurbani verses for the cheap publicity. Gurbani is above everybody directly come from Aakalpurkh (God). Nobody has the right to put it on their bodies. People must have seen that how the Gurbani Granth sahib is kept in gurudwaras in a holy manner and nobody has the right to put it on their dirty bodies.”

    Another comment by BitterT5 from the US on the same issue reads: “Sikhs are degrading themselves by taking up small matters in different countries. If Sikhism is true faith Sikhs have nothing to worry.”

    I personally feel that there is no harm in tattooing. It is a personal liking and feeling. Having tattoo on body is an expression of love towards the religion or the person tattooed. It will spread the message of religion as well. However, if keeping tattoo is hurting the sentiments of any religion, then it must be banned.

    source: http://www.merinews.com/article/ban-tattoos-if-found-hurting-a-religious-community/15886908.shtml
     
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  3. Abneet

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    I was thinking about getting a Ik Onkar tattoo on my hand last year. It is a tradition passed down from my dad's side of getting the tattoo on the hand. I was going to get it not only because of the tradition, but to help me through everyday life and remind me of who I am and who I serve. But after reading this article I get the sense that Guru's message shouldn't be attached to our bodies that get dirty everyday. Good post.
     
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  4. Kanwaljit Singh

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    Putting someone in jail isn't going to make anyone wiser!
     
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  5. spnadmin

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    Realistically! How can 4 Sikhs, from Canada and the US, reporting on this thread expect to have an impact on the Indian legal system? Apparently Section 295 of the penal code provides for trial and punishment regarding tattoos. Taken to the extreme, if Section 295 were consistently implemented half of the population of India would be in prison. Closer to home, every day there are news stories about religious sentiments being hurt within Sikhi itself !!!!!!!! These controversies are about politics not about religion, faith or morality.

    I think the article gives a comprehensive account of the cultural origins of tattoos in India. Why not take the cultural story a step further and take a look at temporary tattoos. How many Sikh brides have the mehindi ceremony before their wedding? Lots! Is this fundamentally Hindu practice hurting Sikh religious sentiments?

    I bring this up because those of us who live in other countries are not affected by Section 295. Instead our choices can be guided by the SRM and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji -- leaving India to its own religious controversies. Too much energy is spent on railing about tattoos and the public figures that sport them; too little energy is spent on educating the values of the young who might decide against tattoos as an enlightened and personal choice.
     
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    #4 spnadmin, Jun 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  6. findingmyway

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    Abneet ji, I suggest a Kara as a constant reminder next to your hand :grinningsingh:
     
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  7. Archived_Member16

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    Clergy isolated on legal action for tattoos on Gurbani verses

    Yudhvir Rana & IP Singh, TNN | Jun 19, 2013, 04.16 AM IST

    AMRITSAR/JALANDHAR:
    Various Sikh intellectuals and historians have expressed differences with AkalTakhtjathedarGianiGurbachan Singh over pursuing legal action against those who tattoo Gurbani verses and even EkOnkar (first words in Guru Granth Sahib) on their body.

    According to Gurtej Singh, an author and former professor of Sikhism, it's nothing but a diktat. "Sikh clergy has no business issuing such directions. If one does not have any intention of insulting Gurbani and is getting Ek Onkar tattooed out of devotion, how can the action be termed as 'maliciously hurting religious sentiments', as defined in Section 295A of IPC," he said.

    "The clergy cannot have such intimate control on the body and minds of Sikhs. It is something between a person and guru or God and ones own convictions. How can they go to such an extent and do things which are not even in their domain. They are issuing fatwas (edicts) on all that is wrong and against Sikh tenets, in which Sikh Sangat is supreme and not any clergyman," he added.

    B S Goraya, founder of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib Langha Movement, said etching Ek Onkar on hand was an age old practice and didn't mean any disrespect to Gurbani. The jathedar should have held Panthic deliberations on the issue, he said. "It is a wrong decision and lacks panthic opinion," said Goraya.

    On Monday, the jathedar had announced decision to recommend filing of FIR under Section 295A of IPC against persons tattooing verses of Gurbani or Ek Onkar on their body.

    Professor Balwant Singh, who is a senior professor at Guru Nanak Dev University and member of several committees constituted by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and Akal Takht, opined that there should have been comprehensive guidelines on the issue to dispel confusion. He said the jathedar should have spoken about the extent of limitations to which Gurbani verses can be printed or written.

    "Today we see Gurbani verses and Ek Onkar in print media, invitation cards, visiting cards, and decorative calligraphy among others. The Sikh clergy should also give guidelines on these," he said and added that every effort must be made to maintain the honour and respect of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

    According to Jalandhar-based advocate Navtej Singh Monhas, intent is always the foremost point for registration of a criminal case. "From where does this criminal or malicious intent come if somebody is getting a tattoo out of love for God or Guru? The clergy is pushing the Sikhs back in the Stone Age. At most, they can issue an advisory on such issues," he said.

    He also pointed out that several elderly Sikhs and prominent community leaders, including those from SGPC and SAD, had Ek Onkar inscribed on their hand or forearm.

    The clergy's decision has not gone down well even with young radicals. President of Sikh Youth of Punjab, which owes allegiance to radical organization Dal Khalsa, Ranbir Singh said the clergy could have issued a well-reasoned advisory. "To threaten the youth, that too with legal action while giving up their own authority will push them further away from religion," he said.

    Meanwhile, in what can be seen as an admission of the eroding authority of Sikh clergy in getting its directives implemented, the Akal Takht jathedar admitted on Tuesday that he was resorting to legal action as people had less care about religious punishment. "If they are not afraid of legal action or going to jail, they don't care much and think they'll go scotfree after tendering an apology," he claimed.

    "We are ready to contemplate further on the issue and will do so when such matters are brought into our knowledge," he added.

    source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...os-on-Gurbani-verses/articleshow/20657165.cms
     
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  8. spnadmin

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    Great article! This is something i want to find out more about: "
    B S Goraya, founder of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib Langha Movement,"
     
  9. Harry Haller

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    prison for monas! lashes for drunks! maybe we need a religious police
     
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  10. Inderjeet Kaur

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    I dislike tattoos. All tattoos except on Maoris. Tattooing Gurbani is inappropriate. Inappropriate. Possibly disrespectful. However...

    Arresting people, fining people, imprisoning people, torturing people for hurting someone's feelings is infantile.

    India needs to grow up.
     
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  11. Ishna

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    My husband has a tribal type tattoo down the side of his head and neck, onto his chest and over his shoulder. Seems I go for the bad boys. :grinningkaur:

    One of the granthis at Gurdwara has a really faded Ik Onkar on the back of his hand.

    It's not the dirty body that disrespects Gurbani, but the dirty mind.
     
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  12. Kanwaljit Singh

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    If I can't teach them how tattoos disrespect Gurbani :soccersingh:
    I can use the effectual Indian law to jail them :swordfights:
     
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  13. Harry Haller

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    my own opinion, I agree with Ishnasisji, you can spend every available minute sweating the small stuff if you wish, but at least get the big stuff sorted out first...

    My wife has three, a welsh dragon on her thigh, a symbol on her back, and a breast cancer pink ribbon on her breast (her mother died of breast cancer), mind you, she also has a tongue piercing, but then, she is not a Sikh, so for her it is a personal decision, and one that she made many many years ago, before she met me.

    What I will say, is that if I were to suggest to her that these alterations to her body have made her a bad person, or a worse person, then she would probably give me a very strange look indeed. I cannot see the issue with someone wishing to have a line from Bani, if there is, then surely we should stop the selling of the multitude of stickers that adorn cars, buses, the front of Public Carriers, (do they still exist?), etc etc.

    Maybe if we were less obsessed with rhetoric, ritual, and keeping clean the written word of God, and more concerned with implementing the word, acting the word.

    Jasleenji hit it on the head, those that bow before elders and then slate them off 5 mins later, well, those that would protest loudly about dirty skins, are the ones more likely to 5 mins later be in the very violation of the very words they wish to protect.
     
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  14. SaintSoldier1699

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    Here we see again another case of being quick on the mark with small matters, yet the so called 5 spend days/months/years doing nothing about the bigger issues, which in some cases are a direct slap on the face of the ever so sensitive Sikh sentiments.

    It rather makes the institution a joke because they are trying to police the impossible! It gives the "Sikh Police" (one's who like to point out faults and apply the edicts of the jathedars to the T) another check box to tick when vetting the local sangat.

    Funny thing as always, making a big hoohah in the media about frowning upon this creates more awareness of what they are trying to prevent people from doing in the first place.
     
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  15. Inderjeet Kaur

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    I don't like tattoos, but I like people with tattoos just fine. Some of them. Not all. Just like every other group of people. I do not object to tattoos if they have important cultural meaning, such as the Maoris. Tattoos don't define a person unless hir identity is tattoos. Is that understandable?

    In Sikhi, we have certain protocols for showing respect for Gurbani. I would not use a paper with Gurbani on it for cleaning the house or (forgive me) wiping my butt. I use my hands for all sorts of things I would never think of using written Gurbani for. Likewise, I would be uncomfortable spilling food on it or throwing it into the washing machine, so I wouldn't put it on clothing. Ego notwithstanding, the operative word above is "I." You are free to make up your own minds. I may give you a different perspective, that's all.

    I think showing respect is important. I also know and understand that what is respectful to one person is different from what is respect to another.

    I am a grammar Nazi; I am not a taliban. I don't tell people how to practice their religion, unless I'm asked. Not even if their religion is my religion. :noticekudi:

    Welsh dragons are cool.
     
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    #14 Inderjeet Kaur, Jun 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  16. Harkiran Kaur

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    And... to my thinking... who are we to define what is dirty?? Since everything in existence exists because of and within Waheguru Ji, then how can we say the ground is dirty, etc? Everything is really ONE.

    For me, intent, thought is what can be impure... not sand / soil / even excrement, maggots etc which are natural facets of nature and existence. We might not like them and label them as dirty... intent however can be dirty indeed. Hatred, greed, etc. Gurbani is beyond the physical. People forget that it is not the physical words that are written on the physical pages, and its not even the physical book itself within which they are written that is the heart of Gurbani. It's the 'TRUTH' and the wisdom, the meaning held within those words, and that can never be 'dirtied' (however, showing intent to do so... does not make you a good person and will not help you in your spiritual endeavours)
     
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  17. arshdeep88

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    Personally a simple clean body appeals much more than the body with tattoos to me.
    For me a person with tattoo is just craving for an attention.
    Here in my city i see many youngsters of my age going to get tattoos just to get noticed or to attract the opposite sex.(or maybe there is a dirt in MY MIND only which sees things such).Though i refrain from judging people with tattoos and its not that i dont like them or such ,just my view and it might be different from the views presented by others.

    But still punishing them for such thing be it for having religious Shabads is not the best thing to do ,making them learn will be a better thing to do.
    Before doing such act they should book all people with Bana committing immoral acts ,people like me going gurudwara bowing to guru granth sahib and then coming out and again resorting to evil deeds. As not following guru granth sahib is disrespect to Guru granth sahib too.
    Lets accept we all are imperfect and letting people live in the way they live happy is sometimes the better thing to do till they harm you personally rather than trying to be like some muslim countries where TRUE message has got lost just because of TALIBANI actions.
     
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  18. Harry Haller

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    absolutely!
    something has to keep my wolf in check :)

    one does not need a tattoo to crave attention, there are less painfull ways :)

    I myself would never have a tattoo, I do not have the body for it, I think its a young persons thing, but you know, even young people get old. The only person that ever gets to see my wifes tattoos is me, as they are all in places that are covered up during normal everyday life. Having said that, we both live in fear my Mum will see them one day, which in itself is rather sad, as we are both old enough to be grandparents..

    Having said that, for me, it keeps coming back to the physical over the mental, we judge another over a tattoo, and we all do, including me, but if we were to advertise all the bad we had done in our lives over our bodies, some of us, including me, would not have enough body area to cover.
     
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  19. spnadmin

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    Akal Takht at times resorts to issuing edicts because splinter groups with a grievance petition them to tackle the grievance. Some of these petitions cannot be ignored because they come from constituencies that expect "action." The longevity of Akal Takht (contradiction in terms) in the person of the jathedar depends on appeasing petitioners who are likely supporters of the party that dominates SGPC, and ultimately SAD (Badal) in coalition with BJP & Sant Samaj. The political base is eclectic. That is why so many actions may seem contradictory. For example, on the one hand tattoos are condemned as disrespectful to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji; on the other hand a refurbished Bikram Samvat calendar is brought forward in response to pressure from sanatan constituents, including Damdami Taksal. More recently we read that there are now second thoughts about the revised calendar. On the one hand, Akal Takht first claims ignorance of the Bhindranwale plaque on the entrance of the shaheed memorail in Amritsar, and then days, weeks later, agrees the plaque is a good idea to to satisfy supporters of Damdami Taksal and Budda Dal factions. Concurrently BJP asks to know answers to its own questions about the memorial. Akaal Takht summons the Sarna brothers for their alleged opposition to a similar memorial in Delhi, and then grants the Sarnas an excused absence and a postponement, after the brothers belatedly announce they cannot make the date. Note: the Sarnas and SAD are sworn enemies. It is showmanship. Any edict against the Sarnas or against those who sport tattoos requires the support of jathedars of Damdami and Hazoori Sahib and Budda Dal. Reading between the lines of a dozen news stories a day I get the feeling that this steep and slippery slope is getting steeper and more slippery. A debate on tattoos is a powerful distraction, and threats of legal action and FIRS is a way to assert the authority of the Takht in the face of doubts.
     
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    #18 spnadmin, Jun 20, 2013
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  20. Tejwant Singh

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    Many of the above mentioned people must be hiding their ੴ tattoos while issuing the edicts or passing them around.
     
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  21. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    Interesting observation...Does the SUN get "dirty" when it shines its RAYS on a GARBAGE DUMP....PILE of DOG POO ...ROTTING CARCASS ....can GURBANI that is DHUR KI BANI coming straight from the CREATOR get "dirty"...who is "dirtier" ? The Murderer..rapist..or the Guy who steals from the Goluck..the corrupt politician..policeman..the not at all civil ...Civil servant..WILL the HUKMNAMAH being READ out by get "DIRTY" IF such people are in the SANGAT ??

    NO Human is ever PURE..because of all that "rotting stuff" in the intestines...so can a human feel "clean" and only read Gurbani when he is clean ?? Can a human body be clean at any single moment ?? GUru nanak Ji solves this dilemma in ASA KI VAAR...we worry unncessarily..this is a FAKE assumption....GURBANI CANNOT BE DIRTIED just as the SUNS RAYS can never be dirtied even if they fall on a LEPER with ROTTING FLESH..let alone a superbly built human being with a TATTOO on his CHEST !!
     
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