Outrage by members of the Hindu community as an upcoming chutney artiste chose to use a Hindu temple as the scene of a chutney video.
The President of the Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre Ramesh Persad-Maharaj is threatening legal action, saying the artiste, Rick Jacob, did not get permission to shoot the video on the grounds of the temple and went there when no one was present.
Jacob, meanwhile, is arguing that he got permission and that there was no music being played at the time of the shooting.
He said he was attempting to showcase the temple to the world.
The video [SEE BELOW] begins with Jacob entering the Dattatreya Temple in Carapichaima which is home to an 85 foot Hanuman murti.
Drone video shows the murti at different angles, before showing Jacob kneeling inside the temple as the words "Girl you know you drive me crazy" are playing.
The song contains lyrics that include "girl do your thing, wine your waist" while Jacob is seen in the video moving through different parts of the temple.
In some cases, he is seen dancing in front of the murtis.
Persad-Maharaj has issued the following statement.
"The public is hereby informed that the video by Rick J who poses as a chutney singer was done on the sacred grounds of our Ashram without our knowledge. Apparently, he chose a day and time when the Temple was closed and nobody was around to prevent him from doing his mischief. The video is a violation of the sanctity Hindus have for their Deities and places of worship. It is disgraceful and an insult to all Hindus and persons who respect places of worship. I call upon Mr. Rick J, to withdraw forthwith the offensive video which was filmed in the premises of our Ashram without approval. I also call upon him to apologise to the Hindu community for his outrageous conduct in the video in front of our Deities. I would like to mention that it is a criminal offense for any person to behave indecently in any place of divine worship at any time. I therefore request him to act promptly to avoid embarrassment and legal costs. - Ramesh Persad-Maharaj, President, Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre, Trinidad and Tobago."
We've reached out to Jacob for a response but up to the time we published this article he had not respond.
However, he has been defending his position on Facebook.
"I did get permission only because music and party was not really involved in the making of the video. The music was added after so it seems like a disco but its not like that," he said.
He added: "All I was trying to do was represent my people to the best of my abilities by showcasing one of the best temples in the world and I said nothing about being naughty in the song. It's Hindi, it means pretty girl."
He ended by saying, "I'm sorry to all who took offence but I was trying to do something good."
But speaking to us on the phone, Persad-Maharaj denied permission was given.
He said if permission had to be granted, it would have had to come from him.
Persad-Maharaj said the particular offensive parts of the video, include;
(i) wearing shoes around the murtis
(ii) dancing and gyrating around the murtis and on the temple compound, and
(iii) Using the names of the deities in his song.
CNC3 is continuing efforts to contact Jacob to expand more on his claim that permission was granted.
He has been widely criticised on Facebook.
Editorial Judgement: The decision to attach the video to this post is help assist you in putting this entire report into context. We believe that in doing so, you will better be able to make good judgement of the arguments by both sides. It was not done with the intention to promote or align ourselves with the video.
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