There’s nothing like an angry storm of comments from thousands of netizens to get someone to remove offensive content.
A middle-school-aged boy in Indonesia has apologized over some photos of himself that went viral on Sunday, in which he disrespectfully posed with his feet up on a Hindu temple.
“To those of the Hindu faith… I am deeply sorry… I did not mean to offend you guys… please forgive me,” the boy wrote on his Facebook page, after removing the offensive photos.
The post had been captioned “OTW Pura Bali” (on the way to a Balinese temple), but it’s believed that the pictures were actually taken at a Hindu shrine on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, reports Tribun Bali.
Before the post was removed from the boy’s account, it had been shared as many as 5,989 times and had over 4,000 comments, many of them from Balinese Facebook users cursing the boy out for “blasphemy.”
While blasphemy is an offense punishable by time behind bars in Indonesia, it does not appear any charges will be pressed over the photos because of the boy’s age.
The Chairman of the Indonesian Hindu Youth Association, Sures Kumar, condemned the photos but said that because of the boy’s “young age”, it could be that he did not understand what he was doing.
So, a “forgive him, for he know not what he do” sort of situation.
“It’s certain that the young kid did not understand,” Kumar said on Monday, as quoted by Detik.
“It must have been ignorance for the kid to have behaved that way. If he knew what he was doing, I’m sure he would not be able to do that.”
Only Balinese priests are able to go up to plinggih padmasana, the type of Hindu shrine pictured in the boy’s photos, says Kumar. The shrines are shaped as thrones, left empty for Balinese Hindu deities.
“You cannot go up there. Only those who have been sanctified can go up there,” Kumar said.
Related to the incident, the chairman of the Balinese Assembly of Traditional Villages (MUDP), Jro Gde Suena Putus Upadesa advises people to stay calm and not be provoked so easily by such content online.
“It happened outside of Bali, correct? We must first check what’s true. The problem is that it could have been edited. The Sumatra chapter of the PDHI (Indonesian Hindu Religious Council) should clarify this. Don’t get carried away by information that’s not confirmed. Let’s not be divided and taken over by religious affairs,” Upadesa said.