SBS posted a newsitem including a video under “WORLD NEWS AUSTRALIA” dated April four about Holi celebrations this weekend in Sydney and titled it as “Sydney prepares for a Holi mess”.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, argued that terming the “festival of color” celebrated by Hindus and others worldwide as “mess” was very insensitive and belittling of the entire community.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, Chair of SBS Board of Directors Joseph Skrzynski and SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid should immediately apologize for this inappropriate terminology and hurting the feelings of one billion Hindus and publish it on SBS website. Zed also urged Australian Communications and Media Authority Chairman and CEO Chris Chapman to look into it.
Rajan Zed pointed out that although SBS called itself “culturally-relevant Australian media” and claimed to contribute to the “social inclusion and cross-cultural understanding of all Australians – linguistically, sociologically and culturally”, but describing a festival of world’s oldest religion as “mess” was highly “disrespectful”. Was calling Holi “mess” SBS’s way of educating and informing the world correctly; whose “Charter” stated: “The principal function of SBS is to provide…services that inform, educate and entertain” and “…promote understanding and acceptance of the cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity of the Australian people”? Zed asked.
SBS, established in 1978 and headquartered in Artarmon (NSW), “is a national public broadcaster with a special mandate to reflect the multicultural nature of Australian society”. With its Board of Directors appointed by the Government, bulk of its funding – about 80 per cent – comes from Government appropriation. SBS Television broadcasts in over 100 languages and is claimed to be watched by over 7 million Australians each week. SBS Radio is claimed to be the world’s most linguistically diverse radio network.
Joie de vivre festival of Holi welcomes the beginning of spring and starts about ten days before the full moon of Phalguna. The ceremonies include the lighting of the bonfires, during which all evils are symbolically burnt. Holi also commemorates the frolics of youthful Lord Krishna; and celebrates the death of demoness Putana, burning of demoness Holika, and destruction of Kama by Shiva. Holi fell on March 27 this year.
Hinduism is the third largest religion of the world and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.