Hindus are urging Starz and its parent company Lionsgate not to trivialize highly revered Hindu deity Ganesh in their currently running television series “American Gods”.
In the opening credits of season one intro of “American Gods”, Lord Ganesh image appeared to be holding smartphone in each hand atop a pedestal of syringes. Description of “American Gods” includes “a hidden world where a battle is brewing between the Old Gods and the New Gods”.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Lord Ganesh was divine and Hollywood was welcome to create projects about/around him showing his true depiction as mentioned in the Hindu scriptures. Reimagining Hindu deities/concepts/scriptures for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the feelings of devotees.
Lord Ganesh and other Hindu deities were meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely or dragged around unnecessarily for mercantile goals; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated.
Rajan Zed pointed out that Hindus were for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees. Entertainment executives should be more sensitive while handling all faith related subjects, Zed suggested.
Zed further said that Hindus welcomed entertainment world to immerse in Hinduism but taking it seriously and respectfully and not for refashioning Hinduism concepts and symbols for personal agendas. Attempts at distorting Lord Ganesh would be slighting of ancient Hindu traditions. He or other Hindu scholars would gladly help if industry needed any assistance in exploring Hinduism, Zed added.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. No faith, larger or smaller, should be mishandled, Rajan Zed noted.
Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. There are about three million Hindus in USA and moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.
Created by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green and based on the novel by Neil Gaiman, fantasy “American Gods” stars Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, etc.
Starz claims to be a “a leading global media and entertainment company”; while its parent Lionsgate, headquartered in Santa Monica (California), describes itself as “a premier next generation global content leader whose feature films, television programming, digital content and premium platforms touch consumers around the world”. Jon Feltheimer and Chris Albrecht are CEOs of Lionsgate and Starz respectively.