BUDDHISTS “all over the world” have had their “sentiments hurt” by a new range of “blasphemous” Keds sneakers bearing the image of the Dalai Lama.
Now, we all imagine that Buddhists are a laidback, tolerant lot whose philosophy is in no way as red in tooth and claw as say, Islam, whose followers exist in a perpetual rage.
BUT a warning has just been issued by Buddhist Chime Tenzing (above) in the Berkeley Daily Planet:
Unlike people from other respectable creed (sic), the Buddhists may be inherently grounded in the philosophy of Ahimsa and non-violence, but that doesn’t mean we are less human beings and thus less sentimental. The dishonorable precedent set by Keds would not only provoke Buddhist brothers and sisters, but it will also stir the sentiments of every sane religious practitioner of all the faiths in the world.
Tenzing then refers to cases such as that of famed Indian painter M F Hussain, 95, who “faced the wrath of the Indian Hindus for his paintings that allegedly denigrated the Hindu gods and goddesses” and had to flee India to Qatar for the fear of his life.
And then, of course, there were those Danish cartoons, which sparked deadly Muslim riots in many parts of the world. Also, let’s not forget Emily Mapfuwa, the British Christian nutcase who launched a failed private prosecution against an art gallery which exhibited Terence Koh’s “blasphemous” Christ’s cock statue.
As a self-effacing and a humble Buddhist myself, I forewarn Keds not to tread on the dirty path lest it should face a similar consequence meted out to the culprits as cited in the above instances.
Tenzing explains his anger:
In the Buddhist context, Keds has committed an unpardonable sin by taking the sacred images of Buddha, the Dalai Lama and the holy Buddhist scripts out from their rightful places to the grubby American feet and neon-lit streets. With this single act of sacrilege and blasphemy, Keds has invited the wrath of the irate deities and would inescapably earn bad karmas for the future of its treasured company.
And he accused Keds of:
A blatant attempt to capitalize on the growing ‘fad’ for Buddhism & reverence for the Dalai Lama in the West. It has nauseatingly overlooked the importance of respecting the values and ideals of the faith. This is how Keds’ chose to reward the Holy Man who tirelessly travels across the globe to preach global peace and universal harmony!