Rajan Zed, the Hindu priest whose claim to fame was getting his prayers in the U.S.Senate interrupted by crazy Christians somehow has my email ID in his mailing list (DesiPundit is not exactly what it sounds like). I received the following email today morning:
Hindus are asking Paramount Pictures, presenter of Hollywood movie “The Love Guru”, and its parent Viacom, to include a video and a booklet about Hinduism and its tenets with its DVD version when it is launched in the market in the future.
Advancing the campaign launched by acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed; Bhavna Shinde, representing Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Sanstha, in a communiqué to Viacom Founder Sumner M. Redstone, Paramount Chairman Brad Grey, and others, said, “‘The Love Guru’ ridicules Hinduism and has hurt the feelings of the Hindu community worldwide”.
She further stressed, “; to undo some of the damage done to the community by Paramount Pictures and Viacom through this movie, Paramount Pictures should (in consultation with acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed) — produce a brief video about Hinduism and its tenets, and enclose it with ‘The Love Guru’ DVD, publish a small booklet about Hinduism and its tenets, enclose it with ‘The Love Guru’ DVD, attach a disclaimer at the beginning of ‘The Love Guru’ DVD”.
Meanwhile, to counter “the gross misrepresentation of the Guru-disciple relationship” in “The Love Guru”, Spiritual Science Research Foundation has announced holding interactive workshops across the world on “Who is a Guru” and to educate public about true Guru-disciple relationship around the occasion of coming Gurupurnima celebrations.
On the other hand, congratulating Rajan Zed for his successful campaign against this movie, Nevada Clergy Association has urged Paramount and Viacom to issue a general public apology over the “The Love Guru” issue, which, it says, “will help heal the wounds of seemingly perturbed one-billion-strong Hindu community”.
Zed, who is president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, and who launched campaign against this movie starting in March, has given a worldwide boycott call against it by Hindus and other religious people because it lampoons Hinduism and Hindu concepts and uses Hindu terms frivolously, saying, “Today it is Hinduism, tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to denigrate another religion/denomination.” A prominent Jewish Rabbi, Elizabeth W. Beyer of Nevada, has already called for boycott of “The Love Guru” because it “; lampoons Hinduism, mocks Ashram life and Hindu philosophy; ”
“The Love Guru” (88 minutes), a comedy starring Mike Myers (of Austin Powers fame), opened June 20 in USA and Canada and will be released in different parts of the world in the near future. Leading global entertainment content company Viacom’s family of brands includes MTV, Paramount, DreamWorks, etc. Paramount Pictures Corporation is a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.
First, I do not agree with the first line that starts off with Hindus as asking…simply because Rajan Zed and his ilk seek to represent so-called Hindu interests in the U.S. Second, I don’t believe Hinduism stands for any form of proselytizing or an awareness campaign inside the cover of an obviously badly made movie. Although judging by the trailers, I had initially thought the movie was funny but the trusted Tomatometer was highly offended by the movie but no one is advocating including a copy of Moviemaking for Dummies.
Judging by the disastrous box office collections of the movie ($29 million in 3 weeks), I doubt even one-hundedth of one percent of the ‘Hindu community worldwide’ has seen the movie much less be offended by it. The “wounds of seemingly perturbed one-billion-strong Hindu community” may have been inflicted by lack of humor more offense to their religious sentiments. I don’t understand why Rajan Zed if he genuinely cares for Hinduism would bother about raising a ruckus around a movie that everyone has already forgotten. Heck, Temple of Doom had much more ridiculousness to be offended about. I wish people would stop making a fuss about movies insulting their religion. If your religion is really that great then one asinine movie cannot even come close to doing “damage to the community”.
As far as I’m concerned, Mr.Zed I don’t approve of this insertion of Hinduism 101 inside the DVD cover. If you really respect your religion, you wouldn’t associate it with a badly made movie. Go get offended by WallÂ·E; then perhaps more people might read your little booklet.