The Ladies’ Krewe of Galatea, which held a ball and tableau in Morgan City in Louisiana on January 23, has apologized to the dismayed Hindus who called the reported parading of Hindu deities in it as highly inappropriate.
Helen Solar, Captain of the Krewe of Galatea, in an email to distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed today, wrote: “If you or any member of the Hindu religion or any Indian are offended at our “Travel to India,” we assure you that nothing we presented was intended to offend and do apologize if we led anyone to that interpretation.”
Solar also wrote: “I was greatly saddened and dismayed to read this morning that Hindus were, themselves, dismayed at the Krewe of Galatea Ball Masque”…”in no way intended to trivialize one of the world’s oldest, greatest, and most revered religions”…”The entire Ball Masque was intended to be a fantasy voyage”…”While I as Captain of the Krewe of Galatea certainly understand that you object, as you should, to the trivializing of any Hindu belief, I assure you that our Krewe agrees”.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism and who spearheaded the protest urging a formal apology, in a statement in Nevada today, thanked Solar and Krewe of Galatea for showing maturity and responsibility, understanding the feelings of Hindu community and apologizing.
Rajan Zed pointed out that Hindus understood that the purpose of Krewe of Galatea in this case apparently was not to denigrate Hinduism, but casual flirting sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols and hurting the devotees. There were certain convictions in every tradition, which were venerable and not meant to be taken lightly.
According to reports, The Ladies’ Krewe of Galatea held its 47th annual ball and tableau at the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium, in which Queen Galatea XLVII was shown as Shakti (divine power manifested as Goddess), the King posed as Brahma (the creator God), captain presented as Vishnu (the preserver God); and other members of the court were exhibited as Hindu deities Lakshmi (Goddess of good fortune), Krishna (Vishnu’s avatar), Parvati (Shiva’s consort), Murugan (God of youth & war), Kali (Goddess of time & change), Hanuman (powerful deity hero of Ramayana), Saraswati (Goddess of knowledge) and Surya (the sun God). The board-of-directors/officers, who led the Krewe, were stated as Vedas (oldest Hinduism texts). The parade lieutenant was a ‘Snake Charmer’, who led the participants at dance.
Zed had said that Hindu deities were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be trivialized in balls and tableaus. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for entertainment and other agendas was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed had noted.
Zed had also indicated that Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it were disturbing for the followers.
Reports suggested that at this event Lakshmi was escorted by Krishna, Parvati was escorted by Murugan, Kali was escorted by Hanuman and Saraswati was on Surya’s arm—which were inconsistent of Hindu scriptures and were highly improper, Rajan Zed had stated.
The Krewe of Galatea will reportedly organize a parade on February seven afternoon and Zed hoped that they did not pose as Hindu deities.