Hindus Urge Washington Concert Opera To Discard ‘Lakmé’ 

By Francisco Salazar

Hindus are urging the Washington Concert Opera in Washington DC to withdraw Delibes’s “Lakmé” from the 2021-22 season.

The work is scheduled to be performed on May 22, 2022, and according to Hindi statesman Rajan Zed, the work “seriously trivializes Hindu religion and other traditions.”

Zed noted, “that a renowned institution like WCO should not be in the business of callously promoting the appropriation of traditions, elements, and concepts of ‘others;’ and ridiculing entire communities.”

He also added that the work is problematic as it blatantly belittles a rich civilization and exhibits 19th-century orientalist attitudes.

Zaed also urged the WCO to apologize for selecting the work.

He added, “It was highly irresponsible for an establishment like WCO to choose such a ballet which had been blamed for caricaturing, appearance of mocking of ‘other’ cultures, colonial terminology, degrading and offensive elements, dehumanizing portrayal, essentialism, narratives often failing to represent ‘other’ cultures with dignity and humanity, imperialistic outlook, justifying ideas of superiority, looking down on people and customs, misrepresentation, considerably wrong about the culture it was supposed to be portraying, needless appropriation of cultural motifs, patronizing flawed mishmash of centuries-old orientalist stereotypes, pseudo, and unabashed orientalism, reimagining Hindu traditions-practices-deities, shallow exoticism based on prejudice, etc. WCO could do better than this to serve its diverse stakeholders.”

Zed has also suggested that the WCO should send its executives for cultural sensitivity training so that such inappropriate works did not slip through in the future.

“Lakmé” is currently is set to star Erin Morley, Frédéric Antoun, Alfred Walker, Theo Hoffman, and Tayor Raven.