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Deepak Chopra on “The Love Guru” issue

Deepak Chopra

Originally uploaded by Luiza

Deepak Chopra was interviewed on CBC Radio a little while ago about the controversial Paramount movie, The Love Guru, starring Mike Myers.

In that interview Chopra suggested that Hindus should not overreact to Myers’ brand of humor, which, he said, operates on the first and second chakra levels.

Chopra said that only a few “Hindu Fundamentalists” were offended, implying that the number of offended Hindus was relatively small compared to all Hindus.

And protesting the movie, Chopra claimed, will only make more people want to go and see it.

Chopra also said that he doesn’t get offended by things any more:

If your faith can be shaken by a joke then it’s another cover up for insecurity. I mean, come on, if you can’t take a joke that doesn’t say much about your faith.” » Q: The Podcast Monday June 23, 2008

Hindus offended by the film, however, have not given up on their worldwide campaign.

Here are some of the most recent headlines:


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Hindus want NHL to cut-off all alliances with “The Love Guru” movie

Special to Earthpages.org

Hindu groups have urged National Hockey League (NHL), headquartered in New York, to immediately cut-off all alliances with the Hollywood movie “The Love Guru”, stressing “it ridicules and denigrates Hindus and Hinduism”.

Advancing the cause spearheaded by acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed; Bhavna Shinde, representing Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Sanstha, in a communiqué to NHL Commissioner Gary Bruce Bettman, said, “All North Americans, including Hindus, are very proud of NHL and its heritage. Founded in 1917, NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the four North American sports leagues alongwith baseball, football and basketball. The Stanley Cup is the oldest professional sports trophy in North America. We do not want our NHL, which we hold in high esteem, to be in any way associated with ‘The Love Guru’, which lampoons Hinduism, its concepts, its traditions and its followers.”

“So, please detach NHL immediately from ‘The Love Guru’, including backing out of all strategic, marketing and other alliances; and issue a statement in this regard,” this communiqué stressed

Meanwhile, Rajan Zed, supported by some other organizations, has given a worldwide boycott call for this movie by Hindus and other religious people because it lampoons Hinduism and Hindu concepts and uses Hindu terms frivolously. Zed, who launched campaign against this movie starting in March, urging other people of faith (besides Hindus) also to boycott the movie, said, “Today it is Hinduism, tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to denigrate another religion/denomination.”

This is pure and blatant ridiculing and “The Love Guru” presenter Paramount Pictures and its parent Viacom should immediately issue a general public apology, Zed says and adds that Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion followers and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at.

A prominent Jewish Rabbi, Elizabeth W. Beyer of Nevada (USA), has also called for boycott of “The Love Guru” because it “…lampoons Hinduism, mocks Ashram life and Hindu philosophy…”

Meanwhile, signature campaign launched by Hindu groups against “The Love Guru” has crossed the 6,600 mark.

“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. Viacom is a leading global entertainment content company and its family of brands includes MTV, Paramount, DreamWorks, etc. Paramount Pictures Corporation is a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.


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Demand of public apology by Paramount and Viacom gathering storm

             Hindu Leader Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

Calls for public apology by Paramount Pictures and its parent Viacom on issues surrounding “The Love Guru” movie, started by acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed, are gathering strength.

Now Nevada Clergy Association (NCA); which is composed of Christian (various denominations), Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Bahai, Native American, etc., clergy; has joined others in asking for Paramount/Viacom apology.

In a statement issued in Nevada (USA) today, Right Reverend Gene Savoy Jr., NCA President, said, “We urge Paramount and Viacom to issue a general public apology over this issue, which will help heal the wounds of seemingly perturbed one-billion-strong Hindu community”.

Rev. Savoy, who is himself a well-respected Head Bishop of International Community of Christ, said in this statement, “We are dismayed at Paramount Pictures, presenter of this movie, for backtracking on their promise to protesting Hindu brothers-sisters, which we consider an unethical business practice. We are also appalled at Paramount and its parent Viacom for utter disregard of the protesters and making no efforts to have an open civilized dialogue with protesters and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution, who have been stressing that this movie denigrates Hinduism and Hindu concepts.”

He congratulated Rajan Zed “for his successful campaign” against the Hollywood movie “The Love Guru” and thanked him for “effectively creating this debate and awakening the future filmmakers to be more sensitive to the feelings of devotees when dealing with faith related issues”.

Rev. Savoy further said, “We at NCA are for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith is something sacred and attempts at debasing it hurt the adherents. Hollywood should be more conscious while handling faith related subjects, as cinema is a very mighty medium and it can create stereotypes in the minds of some audiences. We are concerned that today it is Hinduism; tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to mock another denomination/religion, which can be very painful to the faithful.”

Sometime back, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu religious leaders, in a joint signed statement, described Paramount’s backtracking on their promise to protesting Hindus as “un-Christian, un-Hindu, un-Buddhist, un-Jewish, etc., besides being unethical.”

Meanwhile, various other organizations, including Universal Society of Hinduism, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Hindu Alliance of India, Shri Ramayan Pracharini Sabha, Sanatan Sanstha, India Heritage Panel, have also demanded public apology from Paramount and Viacom.

Rajan Zed launched the protest movement against “The Love Guru” in March, saying that it appeared to be lampooning Hinduism and Hindus and using Hindu terms frivolously.


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After watching, Hindu leader calls for worldwide boycott of “The Love Guru” by Hindus and other religious people

Hindu Leader Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

Rajan Zed, prominent Hindu leader, has given a worldwide boycott call for Hollywood movie “The Love Guru” by Hindus and other religious people because it lampoons Hinduism and Hindu concepts and uses Hindu terms frivolously.

After seeing the film, which was released in USA and Canada today, Zed said that “The Love Guru” was even much more denigrating than they earlier perceived from the information gathered from trailers, website and other sources. Urging other people of faith (besides Hindus) also to boycott the movie, Zed said, “Today it is Hinduism, tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to denigrate another religion/denomination.”

The antics of Guru Pitka of “The Love Guru” are a mockery of the esteemed institution of guru, who is a highly revered spiritual teacher/master/preceptor in Hinduism and who helps remove the ignorance of the seeker and who leads one from darkness to light. The guru-sishya (teacher-disciple) relationship lies at the heart of traditional Hinduism. Guru is often allied with the divine. Guru bestows spiritual knowledge totally free from selfish objectives, Zed stressed.

On the other hand, guru in “The Love Guru” instigates a bar fight, repeatedly narrates penis jokes, mocks yoga (one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy), wears female jewelry, mocks the concept of third eye, makes disciples drink tea passed through his nose, orders alligator soup, induces elephant copulation in front of the crowd, introduces himself as “His Holiness”, lives in a lavish ashram staffed with scantily clad maids, and whose goal in life seems to appear on Oprah Winfrey show, Zed said.

When did Hindu gurus become available “for hire”? When and who started rating them? When did shishyas (disciples) started joining ashram for the sole purpose to make girls like them? Which Hindu ashram organizes fights of disciples with mops soaked in guru’s urine? Which guru urinates in the midst of disciples? Rajan Zed asked.

This is pure and blatant ridiculing and Paramount and its parent Viacom should immediately issue a general public apology for denigration of Hinduism and Hindu concepts, utter disregard of the protesters, backtracking on promise to pre-screen the movie for Rajan Zed and other Hindu leaders, making no efforts to have an open civilized dialogue with protesters to arrive at an mutually acceptable solution, Zed said.

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…”

Hindus are for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith is something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees. Filmmakers should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects, as cinema is a very powerful medium, Zed argued.

Of course a small movie, which will be forgotten in few months, would not destroy the great tradition of Hinduism which has been around longer than any other established religion and has faced lot of onslaughts and came out stronger. But Hinduism is often misunderstood and wrongly portrayed outside India. Movies like this bring more confusion and create stereotypes in the minds of audience, many of whom may not have had any other exposure to its tenets, Zed stressed.

Humor is a part and parcel of Hindu society and our folk festivals, plays, stories, etc., are full of parody, satire, mimicry, buffoonery, etc. We are strong enough to take jokes. But there are certain convictions in every tradition, which are venerable and not meant to be mocked at, Zed argued.

People associated with the film claim that it has nothing to do with Hinduism and portrays “completely made up system of teachings”. But terms such as guru, ashram, yoga, karma, etc., –all clearly point to Hinduism. Some people who have vested interest in the movie are unsuccessfully trying to defend this apparent mockery and in the process creating more confusion, Zed said.

The broader aim of worldwide boycott against this movie is to protect the interests of various minorities and ethnicities of the world and save them from future ridicule. Everyone is a minority in some place and in some sense in this world and deserves to be respected. As fellow humans, is it not everybody’s duty to stand for the rights of minorities and speak for them when attempts are made at ridiculing them? Somebody has to make sacrifices so that others can live honorably, Rajan Zed stressed.

He said that what would have been a small public relations exercise blew out of proportion because of stubbornness of Paramount or incompetence of their public relations team or something else in their minds that we do not know. Backtracking on the promise of pre-screening for Hindu leaders by Paramount was described by the diverse clergy as “un-Christian, un-Hindu, un-Buddhist, un-Jewish, etc., besides being unethical.”

Our doors are still open for Paramount/Viacom for dialogue, Zed said.

Rajan Zed further said that comedy should make everybody smile and should not come at the expense of ridiculing others’ faith and spreading misinformation. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion followers and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at.

“The Love Guru” (88 minutes), a comedy starring Mike Myers (of Austin Powers fame), opened today nationwide and will be released in different parts of the world in the near future. Viacom’s family of brands includes MTV, Paramount, DreamWorks, etc. Paramount Pictures Corporation is a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.


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Hindus launch online campaign against “The Love Guru” movie

             Hindu Leader Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

Intensifying the protest campaign against the upcoming Hollywood movie “The Love Guru”, Hindus have floated an online signature drive.

Advancing the movement launched by acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed, this signature drive sends protest e-mails to Motion Picture Association of America, Paramount Pictures (presenters of “The Love Guru”), National Association of Theatre Owners, Indian Censor Board, and other authorities across the world. When someone registers for this drive, it automatically sends protest mail to these organizations.

“…In this film, the sacred relationship between Guru and disciple has been ridiculed…The parody on Gurus will contribute to the misunderstanding about the sacred concept of the ‘Guru’…”, the protest message says.

First day of this campaign registered about 2,500 protesters, according to Bhavna Shinde, Hindu leader affiliated with this campaign.

Meanwhile, furthering the drive pioneered by 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 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. 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. 

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 Gibson’s 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 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.

Paramount Pictures Corporation, a Viacom brand, is a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.


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Beliefnet agrees to post protesting Hindus’ viewpoint alongside “The Love Guru” promotion

             Hindu Leader Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

On the protest of Hindu groups, Beliefnet, the largest spiritual website, has agreed to post an article explaining their viewpoint about the upcoming Hollywood movie “The Love Guru” alongside promotional material of movie, which Hindus say lampoons their religion.

Advancing the movement launched by acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed, Hindu groups had earlier asked Beliefnet to stop promoting “The Love Guru”, which they say “hurts the Hindu and spiritual community”.

Michael Kress, Managing Editor of Beliefnet, in a communiqué to Bhavna Shinde, who represents Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Society for Scientific Spirituality, said, “We hope that by featuring this opinion alongside others, our readers can be better informed about the issues you are raising and decide for themselves what to believe and how to act in this case.” 

Shinde in a communiqué to Beliefnet had earlier said, “…we are appalled that a well-respected spiritual website like Beliefnet is openly promoting this movie that hurts the Hindu and spiritual community, contradicting Beliefnet’s published mission statement…”

“Protesting the denigrating content of ‘The Love Guru’ and Beliefnet’s promoting it”, Shinde further said, “…we urge Beliefnet to stop promoting ‘The Love Guru’ 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. This will also ensure continued respect from the Hindu and spiritual for Beliefnet as a truly spiritual website, in accordance with its mission statement.” 

Beliefnet lists its mission as ” to help people like you find, and walk, a spiritual path that will bring comfort, hope, clarity, strength, and happiness”. “Our only agenda is to help you meet your spiritual goals”, its website says.

Talking about the Beliefnet and Paramount partnership on ‘The Love Guru’ movie, the Beliefnet website said, “The features on this page were created as part of a collaboration between Beliefnet and Paramount Pictures. Beliefnet editors and Paramount officials jointly determined the design and content of this page,” and also states, “Beliefnet and Paramount explore the movie ‘The Love Guru'”. It also includes trailer of the movie. “Ask the Love Guru a Question” was at number four on the Most Emailed Articles list of Beliefnet website.

Launched in 1999, Beliefnet is part of the Fox Entertainment Group, which is a division of News Corporation. Steven Waldman is the President and Editor-in-Chief. Stated to be the largest online community for spirituality and inspiration, Beliefnet claims about three million unique visitors each month and a daily email newsletter readership of nearly 11 million subscribers. It has partnership with Time magazine, ABC News, etc.

Meanwhile, Hindu groups supporting Zed’s concerns about the movie have also 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 its presenter Paramount Pictures makes necessary changes to it.

In these communiqués, these groups 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 movie…then we feel that this movie is most likely to hurt the sentiments of seekers from various spiritual paths…it will hurt the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus worldwide, who hold the ‘Guru-disciple’ relationship as sacred…we are supporting Rajan Zed’s protest against the denigration…Poking fun is one thing, but if it creates a sense of belittling other’s faith, then it is wrong,” communiqués stressed.

Meanwhile, furthering the drive pioneered by 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 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. 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.

G. Kendrick Macdowell, Vice President of the National Association of Theatre Owners, largest exhibition trade organization in the world, replying to above-mentioned request of halting distribution/screening of the movie 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…”

Ilona Cheshire, Press Officer of prestigious British Film Institute (BFI), wrote in her reply, “Please rest assured that the BFI will not be screening this title nor will be involved with a possible release of it.” J.L. Green, Chief Assistant (Policy) to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), replying the communiqué, said, “The BBFC is sympathetic to your concerns…”

Primitivo Rodriguez-Gordillo, President of Spain based Sociedad de Empresarios de Cine de España (SECIES), informed that the letter sent by Hindu groups was distributed among their members and “we hope their act conveniently”.

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 Gibson’s 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 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.

Paramount Pictures Corporation is a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.

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Broader goal of Hindu protests against “The Love Guru” is protecting minorities from ridicule

             Hindu Leader Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

The broader aim of worldwide Hindu protests against upcoming Hollywood movie “The Love Guru” is to protect the interests of various minorities and ethnicities of the world and save them from future ridicule, Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu leader who is spearheading these protests, said in a statement from Nevada (USA) today.

“Through these protests, we are attempting to safeguard the rights and respect of all minorities including Hindus and including ‘mind-body’ guy Deepak Chopra who makes a living by repackaging Hindu concepts, terminology, and products and who is unsuccessfully trying to defend this apparent mockery and in the process creating more confusion,” Rajan Zed said. 

Everyone is a minority in some place and in some sense in this world and deserves to be respected, Zed stressed.

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion followers and should not be taken lightly. Filmmakers should be very responsible when handling faith related subjects because movies being a powerful communication medium have far reaching effects, Zed said.

Hindus world over are deeply concerned about the apparent denigration of their traditions by this movie portrayal of Hindu characters like buffoons and parody of yoga, which is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy. In Hindu tradition, guru is sacred and associated with the divine and leads disciples from darkness to light; and guru-disciple relationship is at the heart of Hindu tradition, Zed clarified.

“We hope that Paramount Pictures, presenters of ‘The Love Guru’, will be positively responsive to our concerns which we point out at the pre-screening of the movie promised by Paramount, and be prepared to make amends if requested”, Rajan Zed said.

Comedy should make everybody smile and should not come at the expense of ridiculing others’ faith and spreading misinformation, he said and added that besides Hindus, leaders of various other faith traditions have come out in support of the protest.


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Pained by movie “The Love Guru”, Hindus ask Viacom & Paramount to post Hinduism study-guide on their websites

             Hindu Leader Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

Hindus have urged the Viacom and its brand Paramount Pictures to post a study- guide about Hinduism and guru tradition on their websites and place it in movie theaters worldwide to undo the damage done by their upcoming Hollywood movie “The Love Guru”. 

Advancing the movement launched by acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed; Bhavna Shinde, representing Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Society for Scientific Spirituality, in a communiqué to Paramount Pictures today, mentioned the protests spearheaded by Zed and supported by the Hindu and spiritual community worldwide, and added, “…We also feel that the parody on Gurus will contribute to the misunderstanding about the sacred concept of the ‘Guru’…”

 

Shinde urged Viacom and Paramount to immediately issue a study guide about Hinduism and the sacred tradition/role of the ‘Guru’ confirming to Hindu scriptures, post it on the official websites of Viacom and Paramount and ‘The Love Guru’, and make it available free of cost in printed form at the movie theaters worldwide.

 

She further said, “This guide should also offer the viewers a framework in which to see the film, so that the viewers do not carry any misconceptions about Hinduism and that the characters portrayed in this movie are in no way depicting authentic Gurus from the Hindu and spiritual tradition.”

 

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 its presenter Paramount Pictures makes necessary changes to it “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 movie…then we feel that this movie is most likely to hurt the sentiments of seekers from various spiritual paths…it will hurt the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus worldwide, who hold the ‘Guru-disciple’ relationship as sacred…we are supporting Rajan Zed’s protest against the denigration…Poking fun is one thing, but if it creates a sense of belittling other’s faith, then it is wrong,” one such communiqué sent said.

 

Meanwhile, furthering the drive pioneered by 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 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. 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.

 

G. Kendrick Macdowell, Vice President of the National Association of Theatre Owners, largest exhibition trade organization in the world, replying to a request sent by Hindu groups, 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…”

 

Ilona Cheshire, Press Officer of prestigious British Film Institute (BFI), wrote in her reply, “Please rest assured that the BFI will not be screening this title nor will be involved with a possible release of it.” J.L. Green, Chief Assistant (Policy) to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), replying the communiqué, said, “The BBFC is sympathetic to your concerns. However, THE LOVE GURU has not been submitted to the BBFC for classification…”.

 

Primitivo Rodriguez-Gordillo, President of Spain based Sociedad de Empresarios de Cine de España (SECIES), informed that the letter sent by Hindu groups was distributed among their members and “we hope their act conveniently”.

 

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 Gibson’s 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 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.

 

Viacom is a leading global entertainment content company and its family of brands includes MTV, Paramount, DeamWorks, etc. Paramount Pictures Corporation is a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.

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