The home ministry of Malaysia has banned the 1967 cover art of Jimi Hendrix’s album entitled “Axis: Bold as Love” because the art depicts the late American Rock legend and his fellow bandmates as various forms of the Hindu God, Lord Vishnu.

The late American Rocker Jimi Hendrix

axis bold as love the jimi hendrix
The cover art of Jimi Hendrix album and the painting of Lord Vishnu

This had apparently infuriated the Penang Hindu Association because the cover insults and disgraces the Hindu religion. The association discovered the album cover at the popular Big Bad Wolf book fair BookXcess, in Penang. Thus, they demanded an apology from the bookseller and organizer of of the book fair for displaying the album cover to the public.

One of the officials of Malaysian Home Ministry’s Publication Control and Quranic Text said that, “We don’t care if Jimi Hendrix’s albums without the cover art featuring Lord Vishnu come in, but if it uses Lord Vishnu’s image, then of course we won’t allow it”.

thumb b8c6
One of the officials of The Home Ministry of Malaysia comparing the cover art of Jimi Hendrix’s album with one of Lord Vishnu’s painting.

He further added, “We’ll definitely take action against anything that violates religious sensitivities, whether it’s Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism or Islam. We must respect each other.”

Rajan Zed, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism in America applauded Malaysian authorities for taking such action. He mentioned, “The entertainment industry should not be in the business of trivialising Hindu deities, who are meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely on CD covers.”