Mumbai: Remonstrations against the upcoming Hollywood movie The Love Guru over the indications of its debasing Hindu practices seems to be widening.
Supporting the movement spearheaded by prominent Hindu and Indo-American leader Rajan Zed, various Hindu and non-Hindu organizations and leaders have been coming out expressing concern about the possibility of the film hurting the sentiments of Hindus worldwide and urging filmmakers to be more responsible when handling faith related subjects. 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.
Reverend William Bartlett, a well known Buddhist Priest and Interfaith Chaplain, in a statement, has said, "While respecting the revered American right of free speech and expression, we also feel it is important to be sensitive to the feelings of our devout Hindu brothers and sisters."
Civil rights activist and Religious Affairs Chair of Reno-Sparks National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Lonnie L. Feemster said, "It is important for filmmakers to be sensitive to the members of minority race and religious communities. It is particularly important in this case because, religion gives meaning to many people. I strongly support the right to free speech and expression, however, I hope that it can be done with consideration for others."
Paradheya Das of Sri Krishna Vedic Cultural Association in Sacramento (California) said, "…guru is never to be ridiculed under any circumstance. Respect for the giver of knowledge is a foundational and essential element of the various yoga processes found within Vedic culture…The prescreening is a welcome token of respect for Hindus…"
Father Charles T. Durante, a Catholic priest well respected in northern Nevada for his various community outreach efforts; Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, a well known Jewish leader in parts of California and Nevada; Right Reverend Gene Savoy Jr., Head Bishop of International Community of Christ; Vidya Chaitanya, Director of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in Los Angeles; Jawahar L. Khurana, Chairperson of Hindu Alliance of India; Rakesh Nagpal, General Secretary of Shri Ramayan Pracharini Sabha; Lila D. Sharma, President of India Heritage Panel; and Dharam Loonaa, Executive Director of the Universal Society of Hinduism; have already issued statements in support of this cause espoused by Zed.
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."
The Love Guru; a comedy starring Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, Ben Kingsley; and directed by Marco Schnabel; is set to release on 20 June next. 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.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion followers. Moksha (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.