During the recent Gujarat elections, one of the (many) cheap barbs that Narendra Modi successfuly flung at Sonia Gandhi was the insinuation that she personally sat down, probably with the Pope by her side, and designed the new two-rupee coin to Roman Catholic specifications for the Reserve Bank of India to mint:
“Look closely at this 2-rupee coin. Till two years ago, when Soniaben‘s government was formed, the map of India was inscribed on the 2-rupee coin. Then she issued a new 2-rupee coin where the map was removed and a Christian cross inscribed on it. What are you up to Soniaben? You have erased the map of India? We are not telling you put an Om on India’s coins; we are not telling you to put an image of Lord Ram! My fight is against this, I object to this,” Modi thundered.
Perhaps, the injured feelings of Modi and his ilk will be assuaged by this very telling image of a genuine Indonesian currency note.
First issued in 1998 by Bank Indonesia, that country’s RBI, the 20,000 rupiah note has an image of Lord Ganesha.
Indians who are furiously chain-mailing the picture are quoting, perhaps apocryphally, Indonesia’s country’s finance minister as saying that the image was put in “to remove all obstacles from the financial development of the State, whose economy during the last ten years has suffered many a crisis.”
Perhaps, Modi & Co will soon be asking: If Lord Ganesha can adorn their currency notes, why can’t He ours?
For the record, Indonesia is the world’s largest Islamic country but not an Islamic State.