A group of people harassed an Australian couple at a restaurant in Bengaluru, even threatening to skin the young man’s leg, for sporting the tattoo of Hindu goddess Yellamma on his shin.
Law student Matthew Gordon (21) and Emily Kassianou (20), both from Melbourne, were planning to stay in the city till February. But after facing harassed not only by an angry mob but also the police over the tattoo on Saturday, they have said fear has made them consider leaving the city and even the country.
Matt was quoted in The Hindu saying, ‘The policemen advised me on Hindu religion and insisted I give a written apology for not covering my goddess tattoo, even as the group just watched. I tried taking law points, but had to finally give in as my girlfriend was in tears as the cops wouldn’t let us go.’
Here is what Matt Posted at his Facebook Timeline..
My forced letter of apology that I had to write before I could leave the police station at Ashok Nagar. I should not have to apologise for what is on my skin and be put in a traumatising situation where it is apparently acceptable to be harassed, threatened and mobbed. Tolerance, understanding and equality is what we we live by I respect India and Hinduism completely. That’s why I spent 35 hours getting a massive Ganesha put on my back and 4 hours getting the Goddess of the lowest rung of Indian society (Yellamma) on the only bit of space I had left on my body. Because my spiritual journey is my decision, as are the markings on my body. I do not deserve to be victimised and have to physically defend myself and my girlfriend every day. She does not deserve sexual abuse both physical and verbal. We support equality for all, tolerance of everyone and especially for the women in this country. Please support us as we try to bring awareness to crimes of injustice.