India Post News Service
CHICAGO: In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Christian-Hindu-Buddhist-Jewish-Jain religious leaders have jointly urged Beverly Hills (California) headquartered Live Nation Entertainment to remove sacred Hindu-Buddhist-Jain icons from its Foundation Room upmarket nightclubs spread in eight major US cities,
Foundation Room night-clubs, part of “House of Blues” network of Live Nation Entertainment; are located in Anaheim, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, New Orleans.
Greek Orthodox Priest Stephen R. Karcher, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, prominent Buddhist Priest Matthew T. Fisher, well-known Jewish Rabbi Elizabeth Webb Beyer, and renowned Jain leader Sulekh C. Jain; in a joint statement in Nevada today; said that placing highly revered Hindu-Buddhist-Jain icons to adorn night-clubs was very disrespectful, out-of-line, prone to desecration by patrons, and could be disturbing to the adherents of these faiths.
Karcher-Zed-Fisher-Beyer-Jain urged Michael Rapino and Gregory B. Maffei, CEO and Board Chairman respectively of Live Nation Entertainment, parent company of Foundation Room nightclubs, to also offer a formal apology to upset Hindu-Buddhist-Jain communities for this insensitivity, besides removing the sacred icons.
Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that Hindu deities Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva, Lord Rama, Lord Hanuman, goddesses Durga-Saraswati-Parvati-Sita, etc.; were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely in a night-club for dramatic effects or mercantile/other agenda. Such denigration of sacred deities was hurtful to the devotees.
Sulekh C. Jain stressed that pratimas (statues) of Lord Mahavira and Lord Parshvanatha belonged in temples for veneration and not to be misused or mishandled by the patrons of nightclubs. He suggested that the Live Nation Entertainment could donate these to Jain temples in USA and the Jain community would gladly pay for their transportation.
Karcher-Zed-Fisher-Beyer-Jain further said that they, the faith leaders, 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 hurt the followers.
Live Nation Entertainment; whose network includes Ticketmaster, House of Blues, etc.; claims itself to be “world’s leading live entertainment company” “bringing 40,000 shows and 100+ festivals to life and selling 500 million tickets per year”.
Descriptions of Foundation Room night-clubs include “haven for the sexiest and most scandalous party fiends in town”, “suit any desire – no matter how wicked”, “luxurious den for the city’s elite to socialize, scandalize, and sip in high style”, “clandestine lair”, “replete with exotic touches and sexy flair”, “haven for high-end hedonists looking for a wickedly good time”, etc.