Hindu group fumes over Jimi Hendrix posters with religious imagery

US rock legend Jimi Hendrix. A Hindu group is demanding a ban of Hendrix's 1967 album cover as it is deemed offensive. — AFP pic
US rock legend Jimi Hendrix. A Hindu group is demanding a ban of Hendrix's 1967 album cover as it is deemed offensive. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — A Hindu group is demanding that the Home Ministry ban posters of a 1967 Jimi Hendrix album cover that shows the late US rock legend superimposed over a mass-produced image of the deity Lord Vishnu.

Aggrieved by the 24”x36” reprints from Hendrix’s “Axis: Bold as Love” album that were sold at a book fair in March, the Penang Hindu Association (PHA) is also demanding apology from bookseller Bookxcess Sdn Bhd.

“Hinduism has existed for 5,000 years... why would anyone want to make fun of the religion and cause anguish? The importer which is local company should know better than to bring in such items into a multi-faith country,” PHA deputy president P. Murugiah was quoted as saying by news portal fz.com.

The album cover depicts the late Hendrix, who died in 1970, with his iconic afro hairdo and his band, The Experience, as various forms of Lord Vishnu.

Murugiah added that PHA had written to the Home Ministry on May 1 seeking recourse. It was then told that the ministry had seized similar posters from warehouses in Johor and the Klang Valley.

He urged the authorities to act on “unscrupulous importers, distributor and those involved in producing, printing or publishing and marketing of such materials” that offends one’s faith directly or indirectly.

The news portal also quoted a spokesperson from the Home Ministry’s Publication Control and Quranic Text unit saying its enforcers had previously confiscated the posters during a routine check at the import agents last month.

The spokesperson added that the items were seized on grounds of undesirable publication under Section 7 of the Printing Presses And Publications Act 1984.

It is unclear if there is any ban on products bearing the controversial image.

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