Hindus urge India Censor Board to halt Hollywood movie The Love Guru

May 11th, 2008 - 3:19 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 11 (ANI): Hindu groups have contacted Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board) and Ministry of Information & Broadcasting of India, urging them not to screen upcoming Hollywood movie The Love Guru till its presenter Paramount Pictures makes necessary changes in it.

Bhavna Shinde, representing Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Society for Scientific Spirituality, in communiques to these organizations, said, stop distributing or screening the movie till Paramount has made necessary changes to the movie, so that it will not hurt the feelings of the worldwide spiritual and Hindu community.

If the trailer is an indicator of the content of the moviethen we feel that this movie is most likely to hurt the sentiments of seekers from various spiritual pathsit will hurt the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus worldwide, who hold the Guru-disciple relationship as sacred, she said.

Shinde stressed, We are supporting Rajan Zeds protest against the denigrationPoking fun is one thing, but if it creates a sense of belittling others faith, then it is wrong.

Meanwhile, furthering the drive pioneered by acclaimed Hindu and Indo-American leader Rajan Zed, various organizations and leaders have been coming out expressing concern about the possibility of The Love Guru hurting the sentiments of Hindus worldwide.

Zed has been saying that from the information available about the movie, it appears to be lampooning Hinduism and Hindus and using Hindu terms frivolously.

Various Hindu, Catholic, Presbyterian, Jewish, Native American, Methodist, Buddhist, youth, film, spiritual/religious, music, yoga, civil rights, etc., leaders have already issued statements in support of this cause espoused by Rajan Zed.

On the other hand, Hindu groups have recently been approaching film distributors associations, exhibitors groups, regulatory bodies, government ministries, theater owners, etc., in various parts of the world urging them not to distribute/screen The Love Guru till Paramount Pictures makes necessary changes to it.

G. Kendrick Macdowell, Vice President of the National Association of Theatre Owners, largest exhibition trade organization in the world, replying to one such request wrote, I am sympathetic to your concern as I have been to the ashrams in India and know a little bit about the guru-disciple relationship. I have not seen the trailer or the movie, but I can guess that it satirizes gurus on the make.

I doubt I would find it funny. Nevertheless, we are not in a position to take action you recommend we are a trade association, and we cannot interfere with the decisions of our members regarding what movies or trailers to play, Macdowell said.

A prominent Jewish Rabbi, Elizabeth W. Beyer of Nevada (USA), has called for boycott of The Love Guru because it lampoons Hinduism, mocks Ashram life and Hindu philosophy and asking who laughs at religious practices.

Paramount Pictures, through its Senior Vice President National Publicity, Jessica Rovins, has earlier stated, It is our full intention to screen the film for Rajan Zed and other Hindu leaders in the U.S. once we have a finished print.”

It may be recalled here that advance screenings of Mel Gibsons 2004 movie The Passion of the Christ were held for clergy and others.

The Love Guru; a comedy starring Mike Myers (of Austin Powers fame, who is also the co-writer and co-producer), Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, Ben Kingsley; and directed by Marco Schnabel; is set to release on June 20.

In it Myers, an American, raised in an ashram in India, moves back to US as Guru Pitka to seek fame and fortune in the world of self-help and spirituality. (ANI)

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