Washington, Apr 11 : Opposition is growing against the upcoming Hollywood movie "The Love Guru" over denigrating Hindu traditions.
The movement is spearheaded by Hindu chaplain and Indo-American leader Rajan Zed.
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.
Swami Pooja Saraswati, a spiritual leader says: "I watched the trailer of the movie 'Love Guru' and was shocked that any respectable movie producer would so blatantly ridicule a great world religion, a culture, spiritual path and sincere way of life, portraying it as farce."
"Paramount Pictures (producer of the movie) will agree to make changes suggested by Rajan Zed and other Hindu leaders, during the premier of this insulting film before millions of Hindus, yogis and people of high spiritual consciousness around the world feel hurt, offended and outraged," she added.
Reverend John J. Auer, Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Reno, in a statement, said, "...with reference to the film 'The Love Guru,' I respectfully request the producers and their investors to grant the Hindu community a respectful way to respond and make any suggested amendments to the film..."
"Neither Zed nor I have any interest in censorship. However, it is crucial that every faith tradition be given the chance to be heard in response to any portrayal in popular culture of elements of that tradition that might be easily misrepresented and/or misunderstood," Rev. Auer added.
Hindu Jana Jagruti Samiti and Sanatan Sanstha, through their spokesperson Bhavna Shinde, in a release, demanded the removal of the trailer and 'make changes to the movie "The Love Guru", so that it does not hurt the feelings and the religious sentiments of devout Hindus worldwide'.
Shinde further said, 'if the trailer is an indicator of the content of the movie, then we feel that this movie is not only likely to hurt sentiments of seekers from various paths of spiritual practice, but will also contribute to the misunderstanding about the sacred concept of the 'Guru'.
We are registering this protest, in support of Rajan Zed's protest against the denigration indicated in the movie 'The Love Guru', she added.
Alison Pratte, a yoga leader, has stated, "I was offended after watching the trailer of 'The Love Guru. The depiction of the main character in the movie seems more than a harmless spoof. It is loaded with an ignorant stereotype of a culture and religion that is already misunderstood and stigmatized. This movie will only cause more ignorance and bring shame to a beautiful tradition that has existed for thousands of years."
Various other religious leaders have already issued statements in support of this cause espoused by Zed.
Earlier, senior vice president (National Publicity) of Paramount Pictures Jessica Rovins, had said, "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 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 film starring Mike Myers (of Austin Powers fame, who is also the co-writer and co-producer), Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake and Ben Kingsley, is directed by Marco Schnabel and due for release on June 20 this year.
In this film, Myers as Pitka, an American, raised in an ashram in India, moves back to US as Guru to seek fame and fortune in the world of self-help and spirituality.