Harbhajan Singh continues
to play with fire
Oct 10 (IANS) He has let his hair down on a ramp and featured
in a liquor advertisement - both prohibited by his religion
- had on and off field spats with Australians Andrew Symonds
and Mathew Hayden, slapped fellow cricketer S. Sreesanth in
full public view and now done a 'Ravana' act that has got
Hindu and Sikh organisations gunning for him.
off-spinner Harbhajan Singh - 'Bhajji' to friends and in cricket
circles - took to the field in the first Test match against
Australia, what must have been weighing on his mind was the
latest storm he has created with his 'Ravana-Sita' dance number
with TV actress Mona Singh on TV reality show "Ek Khiladi,
Sikh clergy is already aghast with Harbhajan because he posed
as a Hindu mythological character and even applied Hindu symbols
on his forehead.
Jathedar (chief) of the Akal Takht - the highest temporal
authority of Sikh religion - Gurbhachan Singh has taken exception
to Harbhajan's latest act and wants him to apologise to Hindus
for allegedly hurting their sentiments and also to the Sikhs
I receive a complaint in this regard, we will take action
as per religious traditions. This is not acceptable. He has
to apologise for hurting Hindu and Sikh sentiments,"
the Akal Takht chief said in Amritsar.
Harbhajan and his companion in the 'Ravana-Sita' dance, "Jassi
Jaisi Koi Nahin" TV star Mona Singh, are Sikhs. In Hindu
mythology, Ram's wife Sita was abducted by demon king Ravana.
Hindu organisations have objected to the dance number that
"mocked" Hindu sentiments, they say.
act is shameful. How can Sita be shown dancing with an evil
like Ravana? This is carrying things a little too far. Both
celebrities should come on TV with a garland of shoes around
their necks to apologise for this," Vishwa Hindu Parishad
leader Vijay Bhardwaj said here.
his dance, Bhajji has landed himself in trouble hardly a few
months after his 'Slapgate' controversy, in which he slapped
fast bowler and fellow Indian cricketer S. Sreesanth after
losing an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Mohali near
here this April. It almost put a stop to his playing career
and cost him a whopping Rs.34 million as he was dumped from
the IPL and faced a limited ban from playing.
infamous "monkey" run-in with equally temperamental
Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds almost saw India's tour
to Australia being abandoned last year.
bowler also had an on and off field spat with Australian opener
Mathew Hayden who, of course, bit more than he could chew
when he called the Bhajji "an obnoxious weed".
had upset Sikh clergy three years ago when he first appeared
in the advertisement of a liquor brand and later let his hair
loose to walk the ramp in a fashion show. Liquor and untying
hair in public appearance is prohibited in the Sikh religion.
Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) at Mohali near here had set
up a probe against Harbhajan in 2005 after he publicly went
against then Indian cricket coach Greg Chappell saying that
the coach was intimidating players in the team.
bowler was trying to defend the then Indian skipper Saurav
Ganguly but ended up being reprimanded by the PCA.