Coldplay and Beyonce have come under fire from a US religious leader for trivialising Hinduism in their new video.
The music video for Hymn For The Weekend, which follows Coldplay frontman Chris Martin as he travels through the streets of Mumbai to a riverside gig, has already upset Hindus with its depiction of their deities and sacred symbols.
Rajan Zed, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, has released a statement to WENN criticising Coldplay for not taking his faith seriously and failing to offer proper explanations for the images used in the video.
“This party anthem and club song music video unnecessarily features sacred Hindu concepts and symbols with no linkage to the lyrics or storyline.
“What is the connection of depicting one person dressed as Lord Shiva holding a trishul (trident) and sitting on the pavement; three persons dressed as Lord Hanuman and standing with gadas (maces) leaning against their shoulders; two saffron-clad sadhus (ascetics) sitting on the roadside, as if meditating with the lyrics in the video like ‘drink from me’?”
Zed accepts Coldplay and Beyonce were not attempting to “denigrate Hinduism” with the video, but adds, “Casual flirting sometimes results in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols and hurting the devotees.
“It was quite discomforting for the faithful to see the deities, concepts and symbols they revered thrown around loosely and meaninglessly. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world… and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled.”
The backlash comes a week before Coldplay take the field at the Super Bowl in Santa Clara, California, where they will perform during half-time with Beyonce as their special guest.
Martin and his bandmates have yet to respond to Zed’s attack.