Hindu Group in Uproar over Mike Myerâ€™s Love Guru, Spreading calls for Protest
Hindu group says Myers, Jessica Alba film a slant against gurus, like saying Austin Powers a strike against spiesÂ By Brian Frederick Hollywood Today
HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) 6/01/08 â€“â€œThe Love Guru,â€ the latest Mike Myers film co-starring Jessica Alba from Paramount Picture, â€œyeah baby. â€ The Austin Powers and SNL stars as as Pitka, the self described â€œsecond best Guru in India,â€ is viewed by one group as an insult to the Hindu community. Rajan Zed, real life spiritual leader for the Hindu community in Nevada called for an all out boycott of â€˜The Love Guru.â€™
Hindus have been parodied in film with love and satire since Peter Sellerâ€™s days, and the tradition has continued to Indiaâ€™s own Bollywood films. It is not clear if this group targeted this film for publicity purposes or legit religious concerns. All religions have been free targets for creative film community appreciation or satire â€“ and their actions will likely increase the filmâ€™s box office, not help their stated cause for Hinduism awareness. Simply stated, gurus get made fun of â€” same as, say TV preachers. It does not hinder their important messages to believers.
Advancing the movement launched by Zed, Bhavna Shinde, spokesperson for the USA chapter of the Hindu community in communication with Paramount Pictures, today mentioned the protests would be launched and supported by the backing of Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Society for Scientific Spirituality. Leaders from different religious organizations have joined Zed in the protest. â€œWe also feel that the parody on Gurus will contribute to the misunderstanding about the sacred concept of the Guru.â€
Shinde urged Paramount Pictures and Viacom to immediately issue a study guide about Hinduism and the sacred tradition of the Guru confirming to Hindu scriptures, post it on the official websites of Paramount, Viacom and â€˜The Love Guruâ€™ and make it available free of costs in printed form at the movie theatres worldwide.
The request by Shinde to distribute pamphlets in movies sparked further criticism from religious organizations for using Paramount Pictures to further the religious beliefs of Hinduism in movie theatres. Zedâ€™s response told the Associated Press, â€œThe movie appears to be lampooning Hindus and Hinduism. People might not be well versed in Hinduism and this maybe their only exposure.â€
Shinde writes, â€œâ€™The Love Guru offends the sentiments of the Hindu and the spiritual community concepts, such as that of the Guru, or spiritually evolved Master, Karma, etc., as sacred.â€
â€˜The Love Guruâ€™ is sure to gain from the media attention the Hindu community is bringing to the movie. Unwittingly, the call for a boycott may provide free advertising exposure and increase audience anticipation for the movie. An act that could backfire on Rajan Zed and benefit Paramount Pictures.
Mike Myers got the idea of Pitka while working on the â€˜Austin Powersâ€™ series. During production of the series, Myers lost his father and in that grief, he began his personal quest to seek out a guru or ashram. â€œI loved the idea of bringing irony and humor to the human search for happiness and love.â€
The Love Guru â€“ Pitka is commissioned to travel to the US to help a pro hockey player reconcile with his estranged wife in time to help his team win the Stanley Cup.
The movie also stars hottie Jessica Alba and â€œDick in a Boxâ€ singer Justin Timberlake.
The film shoot took place in Canada. If you want to join the protests or see the movie, opening day is June 20.
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