Baba Ramdev invites Christian ire over misuse of Holy Cross in Patanjali ad

Oct 14, 2016, 07:00 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Baba Ramdev has stoked a fresh controversy with Christians across India upset with the yoga guru over a Patanjali ad that presents the Holy Cross, a sacred symbol of Jesus, in a negative light

Yoga guru Baba RamdevYoga guru Baba Ramdev

Yoga guru Ramdev has stoked a fresh controversy, this time raising the heckles of the Christian community. Christians across India are upset with the self-styled baba over a Patanjali advertisement, which they claims hurts their religious sentiments.

The Christians claim the ad, which is being aired on TV channels, shows the Holy Cross, a sacred symbol of Christianity and Jesus, while depicting foreign products. According to them it is "objectionable and absolutely unawarranted."

Mumbai-based Indian Christian Voice (ICV) has written to President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other departments seeking a ban on the commercial.

"It is shocking that cross, which is the symbol of Jesus, is shown in the advertisement", Jerry Paul, who is convener of the Sarva Isai Mahasabha, a Christian organisation, told Huffington Post India. The organisation has written to Ramdev, raising objections to the advertisement.

"They must oppose foreign companies and promote their own products but no one should use cross for the purpose and must not unnecessarily link Christianity with them," he said.

In an official statement, the organisation has asked Ramdev, Acharya Bal Kishan and other officials of the Patanjali Food Limited to stop hurting the sentiments of Christians. If the advertisement is not stopped, the community will launch a campaign against their products and boycott them, apart from taking legal action, said the statement.

"The advertisement first shows a cross appearing in one direction, then from two other angles and it makes a symbol depicting foreign company," Paul told the website.

"You can't even associate an earlier symbol of East India Company, which came for trade with Christians. Do whatever you like--promote your products or attack others-- but don't bring Christianity in between. Christianity has been in India for more than a thousand years and it was not brought here by imperialists or any foreign government, so creating such false impressions is wrong," Paul added.

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