Yahoo's strong anti-Brahmanical streak sign now


To The Executive in charge,
Yahoo Messenger service.

SUB : COMPLAINT PETITION SEEKING YOUR RECTIFICATION

We, the undersigned, supported by FACT India (Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism), are deeply perturbed by an emoticon in Yahoo that appears in the following link -
http://in.messenger.yahoo.com/audibles.php;_ylt=AumQ.XyqW4bI3oMW1GFSJdf2JsYF

Caricatures either exaggerate or distort the basic essence of a person or thing to create an easily identifiable image. They can be insulting or complimentary and can even serve a political purpose wrongly and create hatred and malice. Hence this petition is to bring to your immediate attention the hurt and mental agony inflicted upon us by a feature in your Yahoo Messenger Service. We refer to your feature titled "Aate Jaate" under "audibles". The page contains eight pictures resembling cartoon characters. While seven of them are not leading to any racial inference, one is precisely doing it. The odd picture that stands out is that of a Brahmin. The emoticon depicts a Brahmin in the form of a priest with a strong southern Indian accent that is actually ridiculed and taunted, that shows a racial bias.

Brahmins are one of the religious castes of the Indian race, found all over India and across many parts of the world. Like all other castes of the majority Indian religion, they too have a distinct identity, depending upon their place of origin.

They are one among the most law abiding sects.
They are peace-loving, tolerant and never encroach upon others.
They can be found in all walks of life, and in all honourable professions. Many of them emerge from the lowest strata of the society (really poor ones) and a few in the highest echelons of power.

To single them out especially based on their religious identity is blasphemous and exhibits a form of xenophobia. So, it is objectionable on the part of your company to include him as an object of joke in your features, which conveys a totally wrong message under the circumstances they are making a living in India. For example, being a priest pays pittance. Most priests doing their work are living below poverty line. To show a Brahmin as a priest is misleading in the first place. And all the more, it is important that they should not be mocked at for performing any professional duties, which is precisely what this caricature on Yahoo is doing. In fact, Brahmins belong to a class of persecuted minorities in India, because they have been systematically attacked, displaced like in the case of the Kashmiri Brahmins and even the Tamil Brahmins. We do not want a situation where this emoticon could lead to more hatred, discrimination, mockery against them.

We are of the strong conviction that no caste, creed, sect or religion should be mocked at, the way you have done. We call upon you to immediately remove the emoticon/audible of the Brahmin from your feature and publish an apology.


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Edgar CarlsonBy:
AnimalsIn:
Petition target:
Yahoo Inc.

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