IN A RELIGIOUS UPROAR
(18 February 2006)
new French comedy film that mocks Lord Shiva and an advertising
campaign in Greece the depicts images of the Goddess Durga with
an alcoholic beverage have Hindus from Britain in uproar about exploitation
of their gods. In the past the Hindu community has been incensed
by the way Hindu Deities - the pictures of Lord Krishna on shoes
and Hindu deities on toilet seats - and Hinduism generally, have
been depicted for commercial gain. Even travel book covers like
'Holy Cow!: An Indian Adventure' by Sarah Macdonald (pictured) wobble
on a fine line between paying homage and religious mockery.
Kallidai, Secretary General of the Hindu Forum of Britain, added:
These latest insensitive caricatures of Hindu gods demonstrate
extreme intolerance and disregard of Hindu practices and the portrayal
of such deities in any context other than the most reverential one
is totally unacceptable."
Bronzes 3: Amis Pour La Vie (The Tanned 3, Friends Forever), which
set record film ticket sales for an opening weekend in France and
is the French equivalent of the Carry on films, shows the main characters
in the film swearing, laughing and tearing up images of Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva represents the aspect of the Supreme Being and is the
third member of the Hindu Trinity, the other two being Lord Brahma
and Lord Vishnu.
promoting Southern Comfort Whiskey in Greece depict the Goddess
Durga - the multi-armed deity - carrying bottles of Southern Comfort.
Two-dimensional wooden displays of the wife of Lord Shiva and a
unified symbol of all divine forces were displayed both inside and
outside of the Balon Oriental Disco Bar in Athens. However,
following protests from Hindus, Brown-Forman owners of the Southern
Comfort brand the company has withdrawn the offending images.
Patel, an Executive of the Hindu Forum of Britain, who spoke and
wrote to Brown-Forman said: I wrote to lodge my disgust at
the use of the Goddess Durga, especially as it is against the practice
of Hinduism to take any intoxication including alcohol. Therefore
to depict a Hindu Goddess holding bottles of alcohol is extremely
offensive. The fact that the company has removed the images shows
that voicing our opinions can make a different, its just a
shame that businesses dont do their research before implementing
Goddess Durga protects mankind from evil and misery by destroying
evil forces such as selfishness, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger,
and ego and the weapons in the hands of Durga such as a conch, mace,
sword, disc, arrow, and trident convey the idea that one weapon
cannot destroy all different kinds of enemies. Different weapons
must be used to fight enemies depending upon the circumstances,
for example, selfishness must be destroyed by detachment, jealousy
by desirelessness, prejudice by self-knowledge, and ego by discrimination.
Kallidai, added: The Hindu Goddess holding bottles of alcohol
is and the lack of respect shown to Hindus most sacred deities most
extremely offensive and blasphemous.
to mock the worship of the Hindu religion, as this French film does,
does little to increase understanding our different cultures or
even help all communities to live together in an harmonious way,
so I would urge people to write to Warner Brothers, who are distributing
this film, to complain about this blatant exploitation of the Hindus
most revered prophet.
Shiva is the Lord of mercy and compassion. He protects devotees
from evil forces such as lust, greed, and anger. He grants boons,
bestows grace and awakens wisdom in His devotees and images of Shiva
are venerated by Hindus. Since the tasks of Lord Shiva are numerous,
he cannot be symbolised in one form.
wishing to complain about the film should write to Warner Bros.
Distributors Limited, Warner House, 98 Theobalds Road, WC1X 8WB
United Kingdom. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.