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Draft Letter To Sony/Columbia

This is to advise you that your new Columbia release, Nine Lives has the CD cover which is a DISTORTED AND VERY INSULTING depiction of Lord Krishna, the Hindu God, whom millions of Hindus worship all over the world.

It is clear that you and your artist distorted and defaced the original and UNIVERSALLY REVERED picture which shows Lord Krishna conquering the great serpent Kalinag. Your act of putting a face of a cat in place of Krishna’s is not only outrageous beyond any measure but also very insulting to the entire Hindu community worldwide. Also showing Krishna wearing a blouse is extremely offensive. This CD cover chosen by you is analogous to showing Lord Jesus on the cross with a cat’s face wearing a bikini.

On behalf of the entire Hindu community I demand that you IMMEDIATELY STOP SALE OF THIS CD, AND CHANGE COMPLETELY ITS COVER. Keep in mind that commercial free speech is not well protected.

If you decide not to do so, the Hindu community will picket your concerts, the record company headquarters, boycott your products (SONY & COLUMBIA), and take both of you to the Federal Court to seek permanent injunction and damages. It is also very clear to me that you will not be able to give any concerts in India forever, and will quickly loose popularity there.

Statement Issued by Aerosmith to the media

In response to Aerosmith’s deep concern and dismay at the notion of having offended any religious group by the image on the cover of their recently released album, Nine Lives, the five band members have requested that their record label, Columbia Records, immediately cease manufacturing the cover artwork. They also asked that the image be replaced in all future manufacturing runs with a new and completely different design.

The original album cover image, as presented to Aerosmith, was selected for its aesthetic qualities and its consistency with both the album’s conceptual and graphic themes. Up until the time of the album’s release, the band was unaware that this particular image was inspired by an original painting in a book written by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and published by the Bhaktivedanta Trust, an affiliated organization. Upon being informed of the origin of this image, the band, in order to avoid any perceived infringements or potential conflict or embarrassment for any group, went through all of the proper channels to obtain licensing approvals for its use from this Trust. Having obtained this permission Aerosmith believed that no further issues existed.

At no point in the development of the album packaging did the band, or anyone else involved in this project, intend to harm or show disrespect to the Hindu community or any other religious group, nor did they intend to denigrate any religious image.

Aerosmith sincerely apologizes for any offense, however unintended, caused by the Nine Lives artwork.

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Sony/Columbia Disfigure Lord Krishna’s Picture on Aerosmith’s “Nine Lives” Album

We note with great regret and dismay that the Hindu community has still not received any written apology from SONY Music for offending Hindus. Although SONY has changed most parts of its website, the promotional picture at this link still remains.

We also note with great concern that the CD, which has offended so many Hindus has still not been pulled from the major stores that are selling it.

We present here, a link to the apology by Aerosmith, which was sent to several news organizations. We were sent a copy of this press release by Mr. Joseph Salvo, Senior Counsel for SONY Music and Entertainment.

We urge the community to continue writing strong letters to SONY music and the stores to recall “Nine Lives” CD.

If SONY Music and the departmental stores do not withdraw this CD and if the written apology from SONY Music is not forthcoming, the Hindu community will be forced to consider stronger action, including boycott of the products made by SONY and legal action against SONY in India and other countries.

In order to facilitate writing protest letters to the stores, we have now created a single link, by clicking here you can send letters to all the major stores still selling “Nine Lives” (this feature works for Netsacpe, if it does not work for your browser, please select individual addresses from the menu below)

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An Invitation to Join AHADC

Saprem Namaskar,

We would like to invite you and your organization to join the American Hindu Anti-Defamation Coalition (AHADC).

AHADC is a task force, an entity, convened to address the issue of the Aerosmith music group using the disfigured picture of Bhagwan Shree Krishna on the cover of its latest album “Nine Lives”

AHADC consists of temples, cultural and religious organizations, and concerned citizens convened to act on this important issue. There is no formal membership in AHADC. We merely ask that if you and your organization agree to the following points, you join fellow Hindus all over the USA. These points are :

We believe that Shree Krishna is a prominent Hindu representation of God. Shree Krishna represents auspiciousness to several hundred million Hindus around the world.

We believe that the picture of Shree Krishna should only be kept in places where it is accorded proper respect. It should not be disfigured for commercial gains or trivializing His importance.

We believe that the cover of Aerosmith album is easily recognizable by Hindus everywhere as that of Shree Krishna’s battle with Kalia (Kaliya), a serpent demon.

We believe that the placing disfigured picture of Shree Krishna, replacing His upper body with a woman’s upper body and replacing His face with that of a cat is highly offensive and
objectionable to Hindus.

We request that Sony/Columbia take into account the sensitivities of the Hindu community and immediately replace the cover of t his album.

We also request the Hindu organizations and temples to join AHADC for the singular purpose of protesting Sony/Columbia’s insensitivities against the Hindu community.

We request those who practice Hindu dharma in one of its many forms to write to Sony/Columbia expressing their outrage at the disfiguring of Shree Krishna..

The coalition plans to contact theSony/Columbia with a letter containing the points mentioned above points. We request that you contact your local Hindu organizations and ask them to sign this letter.

The coalition may also publish newspaper advertisements on this issue, containing the points mentioned above and signature of participating organizations.

Please note that AHADC is a single issue task force. Names of the signatories will not be used for any purpose other than the points represented above. We hope that your organization or temple finds this issue meritorious and worthy of importance placed on it.

We urge you to join AHADC

Sincerely,

Ajay Shah, Chetan Tanna, Vaani Chawla
for American Hindu Anti-Defamation Coalition
and Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (World Hindu Council)

In order to Join AHADC Please sign and fax or e-mail the following

Dear Convener of AHADC,

My Organization [Name of Your Organization] agrees on the abovementioned points. We will be one of the signatories to the letter that mention above points. I also authorize the convener of AHADC to use the name of my organization for the above purpose in press release and newspaper advertisement as long as it contains only the above mentioned points. I understand that AHADC will contact me if there are any changes to the content of the letter, I will be contacted by AHADC.

Signature :
Date :
Your Name :
Name of the Organization :
Address :
Phone No. :
E-mail Address :