Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, described it as highly inappropriate portrayal of Hindu goddess Kali and urged public apologies from all those responsible for it, including “21st Century Fox” Chairman Rupert Murdoch, Fox Television Group Chairman Gary Newman, and creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated that “goddess Kali was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to worshiped in temples or home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely in reimagined versions for dramatic effects in TV shows. Such absurd depiction of goddess Kali with no scriptural backing was hurtful to the devotees,” he said.
Zed explained that in the show, Vetala (a demonic spirit) was depicted as a demon servant of goddess Kali. However, in Hindu beliefs, goddess Kali and Vetala are not connected. The episode showed the statue of the goddess Kali used trying to turn a man into a demon. “It just seemed to be blatant twisting of the facts aimed at ratings and mercantile greed and maligning Hinduism in the process, ” Zed said.
“Such trivialization of goddess Kali was offensive to Hindus the world over.”
Zed urged Fox to add a disclaimer and not to “inappropriately and unnecessarily drag Hindu deities to advance the commercial or other agenda in the future.”
Hindus are for free speech as much as anybody else, the spokesman said. “Faith is something sacred and attempts at belittling Hinduism hurt the devotees. Television should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects,” Zed argued.
Hindus ask that Hollywood and other entertainment industries study Hinduism, take it seriously and respectfully by not showing of Hindu symbols and concepts to advance a selfish agenda. Zed pointed out that “pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols hurt devotees,”
In an October 2014 complaint, Zed asked that Amazon.com stop selling women’s leggings with depictions of Hindu gods. http://q13fox.com/2014/10/14/perturbed-hindus-urge-amazon-to-stop-carryi…
Hinduism is one of the oldest and the third largest religion of the world attracting one billion adherents. “No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed,” Zed said. He offered assistance to entertainment executives on teaching them about the religion.
Goddess Kali, who personifies Shakti or divine energy and considered the goddess of time and change, is widely worshipped in Hinduism. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
In its second season, “Sleepy Hollow” (starring Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie) is a supernatural television series premiered in 2013 which airs on Mondays and besides USA, it is also broadcast in many other countries.
Fox Broadcasting Company and Fox Networks are units of New York headquartered “21st Century Fox”, which claims itself to be “world’s premier portfolio of cable, broadcast, film, pay TV and satellite assets spanning six continents” and reaching over 1.8 billion subscribers in about 50 languages daily.