Upset Hindus are urging Netflix to seriously rethink hosting of upcoming anime TV show “Record of Ragnarok II”, which they have called as “highly inappropriate” as it trivializes immensely revered Hindu deity Lord Shiva.
Official trailer and a poster of “Record of Ragnarok II” (directed by Masao Okubo) have been recently released and both of these show the presence of Lord Shiva in it. It is stated to be coming to Netflix in 2023.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Lord Shiva was meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely or dragged around unnecessarily in anime TV series for mercantile greed.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that Hindu gods and goddesses were divine and entertainment companies were welcome to create projects about/around them showing their true depiction as mentioned in the Hindu scriptures. Inappropriately reimagining Hindu deities/concepts/scriptures/symbols/icons and redefining Hinduism for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the feelings of devotees.
Rajan Zed urged Netflix co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos to earnestly look into this issue before finally okaying the release of “Record of Ragnarok II”.
Zed stated that Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it displayed callousness towards the feelings of adherents.
Besides hurting the sentiments, any misrepresentation created confusion among non-Hindus about Hinduism. Insensitive handling of faith traditions sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols; Rajan Zed pointed out.
Zed further said that Hindus welcomed the 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 of Hindu gods and goddesses 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 1.2 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.
Netflix, headquartered in Los Gatos (California) and whose idea was born in 1997, claims to be “streaming in more than 30 languages and 190 countries”.