Skip to comments.Hindus Upset Over Ban On Holy Dot
Posted on 09/08/2007 12:24:58 PM PDT by blam
Hindus upset over ban on holy dot
By Amarnath Tewary
BBC News, Bihar
Mr Mishra has worn the tilak throughout his career
A senior official in India's Bihar state faces suspension for wearing the Hindu red mark on his forehead at work. Lakshman Mishra, deputy director of the agriculture department, is accused of breaching a new government dress code.
He says he has worn the mark, or tilak, on his forehead at work for 30 years and it is his religious right to do so.
His colleagues support him - nearly all of them arrived at work on Friday wearing red marks in protest, and unions are threatening mass action.
Mr Mishra's troubles began in August when new guidelines were issued on what state government officials could wear at the office.
His department head, CK Anil, warned Mr Mishra that he considered his tilak to be in breach of the code.
When he refused to remove it, Mr Anil recommended him for suspension.
Mr Anil is a young, no-nonsense civil service high-flier who has already reprimanded staff in another department for spitting out betel leaf they had been chewing at work.
He is currently not taking calls from the media.
Many people in northern India wear the red holy mark on their foreheads and it is a common sight in government offices.
Mr Mishra says he has no intention of giving up the practice.
"I've been sporting the red holy dot on my forehead for the last 30 years of my career," he told the BBC.
"It has religious sentiment for me and if somebody goes on harassing me on this pretext I'll have no option but to commit suicide."
Barring some senior officials, all the employees of the state agriculture department went to work on Friday with tilaks on their foreheads in protest at his treatment.
Civil servants came out in protest on Friday
They laid siege to Mr Anil's office and demanded he withdraw his recommendation that Mr Mishra be suspended.
"The officer's move has hurt our religious sentiments and as our protest against his order we've come to the office today adorning our foreheads with the red dot. Let him suspend all of us now," said union leader Baidyanath Yadav.
Several other state government unions are also angry and are threatening mass protests if his suspension order is not revoked with immediate effect.
Even state Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh agrees, saying "no one should be suspended for wearing a holy tilak as it's a matter of personal choice".
Right now the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I’m sure not going to pile onto the Hindus for ANYTHING when India is a bulwark against Islam.
Let the guy have his dot. This is silly.
Okay, who’s outsourcing PC to India?
sounds like it. They do have a very large Muzzie population.
It’s not like he was posing for a driver’s license photo in a burka, is it?
This makes no sense.
These folks are not our enemies.
And let the Sikh have his turban, and maybe the Christian have their crucifix. It’s one thing to have subtle religious symbols, quite another to have a person try to convert you. Professional cube dwellers have known the difference for at least a generation.
Heck, in the old days, an aspiring worker had to go to church where the boss went — I used to pastor a church where all of the Ford management people went ‘cause it was the place to be seen.
His only option is suicide? I dunno, but there may be more to this than just a dot.
Why are Indians our enemies?
That doesn't bother me at all. In a pluralistic society, even religious folks need to get to say their piece. The athiests are constantly proselytizing. Why not the religious folks.
What bothers me is the notion that there are several hundred million people in the world who would like to convert me at the tip of a scimitar.
btw, in my new religion, we worship the period and his son the comma.
A tilaka is a vertical line or oblong dot usually red in color on the forehead of men and in the hair part on married women that has social stature/religious meanings. The single dot seen on the forehead of indian women that westerners are most familiar with is called a bindi, and is considered just a hindu cosmetic ornament nowadays, and corresponds to the sixth chakra point of bodily energy flow,and can be purchased in convenient disposable peel-and-sticks, or more ornate versions for special events.
Holy Ban, Dotman!, will this madness ever end?