<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->If you mean the one that sings CHRISTIAN songs, or songs on JESUS or the BIBLE, or any other Christian THEMES, in Carnatic or Bhajan music style, or 'vedic' chanting style, as part of the strategy of hinduisation of christianity, this wouldn't be it.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I mean the kind that set up magazines on Carnatic music (of <i>Hindu</i> songs), and enrol in Hindu song classes and try to get their kids to perform only for the purpose of getting their foot in the door of Hindu Carnatic music audience.
(Why do I even say "Hindu Carnatic" music, that's like wet water when it speaks for itself: Carnatic music is Hindu. Period.)
Not talking about Yesudas, of whom it is known that Udoopi Krishna I think is (among?) his Ishtadevam. He's not the kind to go around singing Hindu songs for any other reason than that he feels a sincere attachment to doing so, from what I understand. But I don't know about this Joe Thomas.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->As for me, I don't care about any singer's religious background, nationality, color, weight, height, and educational qualifications, if he/she sings songs with themes close to my heart.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Other than religious bigotry against "polytheists" on their part or their donating money to christian evangelising charities with or without thinking, I wouldn't care either. Certainly never cared about nationality/colour/weight/height/education, for example when it came to friends (regardless of whether they could sing or not). Didn't know this was ever an issue for anyone. <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Of course, I do care about the <i>ideological affiliation</i> of any artist: Richard Wagner was a notorious anti-semite and a very close buddy of Hitler
and very influential in spreading his anti-semitic views amongst their circle. Naturally, I don't listen to his overblown claptrap.
When amongst christian orgs in India there is the stated intention to appropriate (first by infiltrating - after all, they have to first learn the Hindu arts from somewhere before they can claim it's theirs), their religious background does matter to me.
I recently caught some soap on Zee TV in a friend's mum's house where it has shlokas set in the background of the soap during shots of what seemed very much the scheming villains - the characters were certainly plotting and the other incidental music run under the shlokas was very sinister too. But I guess I shouldn't mind that they were systematically trying to create a mental connection in people's heads between villainous events and Hindu sacred music. Am I supposed to merely be happy that they used Hindu shlokas at all? But then again, to me the motivation as to who does something matters.
I have similar reservations about that anti-Hindu Gujarati dancer who learnt Bharatanatyam and uses her popularity to knock Gujarat and Hindus at every opportunity. I don't care about her ability - besides, there are many talented Bharatanatyam dancers in TN and Karnataka who could make her alleged skills evaporate I'm sure - but I do care about <i>why</i> she does things. I also have to wonder at the shortsightedness of the people who taught her what is considered (in TN at least) a sacred Hindu art, and also at the people who (unknowingly perhaps) applauded her into fame.
Of course, am not complaining about any Indian singing Vande Mataram since it is every much their right to and from my point I would think it was natural (though some christians have serious issues with it being a national song, precisely because they find it is actually about Bharatam as the Hindu Goddess. But that's their baggage if they can't deal.)
But the fact of christians singing Hindu songs is not always innocent. (Just as it is with christian Indians in villages eager to marry Hindus - where this is now a church-directive in many instances - it is not always because of any belief of pluralism on their part, especially when they actually continue to believe the other one will go to hell if he/she continues in 'heathenism'. The reasoning is often controlling population dynamics and demographics.) How do these various christian singers reconcile their first commandment and their church's teachings with singing specifically Hindu songs (not merely songs about the country)? Either they are like Yesudas, or they are like many another that don't have quite the same motivations. Meanwhile, the christian populace does claim that when other christians start doing something Hindu (Kalaripayatt, Kathakali, Bharatanatyam, Carnatic music, Ayurveda) that therefore the art itself is not really Hindu but merely secular "Indian" culture. See post 116
of the christian subversion thread-4.
I think the motivation of other people should very much matter to Hindus because all appropriation starts exactly here. But like I said I'm not really interested in the case of Joe Thomas or similar instances.
Muslims don't have the hypocrisy that christians have: when Indian Muslims sing specifically Hindu songs you know they are sincere because they are daring to go against their openly violent religion in doing these "kaffiri" things. When it comes to Indian christians though, it is getting ever-harder to guess at their reasoning for doing specifically Hindu things. It is not always transparent and not always fueled by an honest sincerity.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->As for me, I don't care about any singer's religious background, nationality, color, weight, height, and educational qualifications, if he/she sings songs with themes close to my heart.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->You don't need to insinuate that I am possessed by bigotry (by tying your argument of "singer's religious background" in with matters that are totally irrelevant in this case) in order to make your point that your open-mindedness is better. Open-mindedness is always a good thing, but when you get stung more than once (and when their stated intention is to destroy Hinduism in various ways including through appropriation of Hindu arts and skills - which includes more than mere inculturation, note) it may be useful to take a step back and look at the track record of what one is so open-minded about and approach it more carefully. Joe Thomas and other such Indian christians singing Hindu songs may be very sincere, as some others before them have been - I don't know about these new people and am past caring - but until one knows this for a fact, why trust them implicitly. Reserve such complete trust for followers of ideologies that haven't had it in for Hinduism.