T-shirt designs anger SA Hindus
TWO local clothing designers are in trouble over their subversive Hindu deity-inspired T-shirts.
This week the SA Hindu Maha Sabha, the governing body of all Hindu associations in the country, demanded that the two designers, Benoni communication student Michan Marais and online company Tshirt Terrorist, immediately remove their “offensive” clothing items after they reported the matter to the Human Rights Commission.
Marais won second place in the Makhulu Polane T- shirt design competition earlier this year for her “Boerddha” design, featuring a khaki-clad, bearded man with eight arms, sitting cross-legged on a large plant. In his many hands are a Protea, a beer bottle, slingshot, rugby ball, braai tongs, mealie cob and a springbok head.
Online company Tshirt Terrorist stocks a T-shirt bearing an illustration resembling the Hindu goddess Kali, holding a US flag, a hamburger, US dollar notes, a decapitated Mickey Mouse head, a syringe and a smoking gun.
SA Hindu Maha Sabha president Ashwin Trikamjee said the Hindu community was outraged. “It is unacceptable when designers and manufacturers continue to insult religious beliefs, and even more so when the seriousness is brought to their attention,” he said.
“Hindus may not appear to be militant. but the designers must prepare for a serious challenge if they persist, despite requests to remove the items forthwith.”
Tshirt Terrorist chief Harry Fokker said they would not be removing the “Kalifornia” shirt from their catalogue.
“Under no circumstances will we allow ourselves to be pressured into limiting the scope and the direction of our art,” he said.
Fokker considered the work done by his company as satire, “an art form”, and said they also referenced Christianity, Islam and Rastafarianism.