Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:
I cannot be a voice for all Hindus the world over, so I’ll speak just for myself.
I won’t feel anything about anyone sporting a tattoo about anything at all…provided they give it the respect the symbol deserves. When getting a tattoo from a culture that’s not their own, it would be mindful if they could do a little background check of what the tattoo stands for. If it represents an image revered and worshipped by millions around the world, I think it’s only sensible that you place the tattoo at a place that would render it some respect.
The other day, I saw a lady (clearly not an Indian) who had tattooed an ‘Om’ symbol on her ankle.
It looked a lot like the image above. Now this is something that is hurtful. For Hindus the world over, the symbol of Om holds so much religious importance. To see it being used as a fancy fashion statement on the foot of a person is something that might hit the sensitivities of Hindus very much. Some people might get angry. Some people just ‘tsk-tsk’ and go away. Many others look away and pretend they hadn’t seen such a painful thing.
It may not hold any importance to the person who got it done… but it might to a lot of others. Having Hindu symbol tattoos is great… just give it the respect it deserves. That’s all we expect.