Upset Hindus are urging Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Pitlochry Festival Theatre in Scotland to withdraw from hosting “Hindu Times” play (May 28-30), which they feel is “highly inappropriate” as it reportedly trivializes immensely revered Hindu deities Brahma, Vishnu and Lakshmi.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi were meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely or dragged around unnecessarily through the streets of Dundee reportedly looking for booze and breaking into a closed shop for it.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that renowned publicly funded charities like Lyceum and Pitlochry theatres should not be in the business of sacrilege, blatantly belittling other traditions and ridiculing entire communities. He indicated that community organizations like Lyceum and Pitlochry theatres should have shown some maturity while okaying such a play, and urged them to apologize for such an inappropriate selection.
Rajan Zed suggested Lyceum and Pitlochry theatres to re-evaluate their systems and procedures and send their executives for cultural sensitivity training so that such an inappropriate stuff did not slip through in the future. Lyceum and Pitlochry theatres could do better than this to serve the diverse area communities.
Zed indicated that Brahma-Vishnu-Lakshmi were divine and entertainment companies were welcome to create projects about/around them showing their true depiction as mentioned in the Hindu scriptures (no Hindu scripture mentions their visit to Dundee). 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 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 hurt the 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; Zed remarked.
Rajan Zed further said that Hindus welcomed entertainment world to immerse in Hinduism but taking it seriously and respectfully and not for refashioning it 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, Zed noted.
According to reports, Lakshmi and Brahma use F-words in the play. “Hindu Times” review in The Guardian states: “Gods Vishnu, Lakshmi and Brahma become street-smart hedonists…”.