London, June 19 : Hindus in the US have started a protest against a Hollywood comedy, saying that the film will hurt the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus worldwide.
More than 5,000 people have signed an online petition protesting against the film Love Guru, starring actor Mike Myers and due to be released on Friday.
Some Hindu groups are considering a boycott of Paramount Pictures, which produced the film, the BBC reported.
Paramount says the film does not make reference to any particular religion. The company says Love Guru portrays a purely fictional faith.
"We all know when you show a person with a sari and a mark on their forehead that will be associated with Hinduism," said Bhavna Shinde, representing Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Society for Scientific Spirituality.
In the film, Mike Myers plays the main character, Guru Pitka -- who is raised by gurus in an ashram in India and then moves to the US to seek fame as a self-help coach resolving the marital problems of a Canadian hockey player.
The film includes a character played by the British Iranian comedian Omid Djalili called Guru Satchabigknoba and a hockey player called Coach Cherkov.
Shinde is upset that the main character wears sacred Hindu saffron robes and carries holy prayer beads.
Mike Myers himself has described the religion he lampoons as a "mythical creation - it's like the Force in Star Wars".
And Paramount Pictures have quoted the spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra rebutting criticism of the film based on only the two-and-a-half-minute trailer.
"The premature outcry against the movie is itself religious propaganda," said Chopra.
Shinde argued that terms used in the film like "guru", "karma" and "ashram" are "signature Hindu concepts" clearly pointing to Hinduism.
"Which other religion are they talking about?" she asks.
So far it's only the trailer that's caused concern - two Hindu groups in the US have complained that they were promised an early screening before the film is released but were never shown it.
Earlier, Clergies belonging to different religions and denominations have strongly come out in support of "Hindu brothers" and criticised Paramount Pictures for reportedly breaking its promise to pre-screening its upcoming Hollywood movie 'The Love Guru', to Hindus.