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Mike Myers has a new film with a new set of zany characters that clearly mimic and probably mock Hinduism. Yet, the producers of the film maintain that the depicted religion is entirely made up. Right.


American based Hindu activists are not buying it…

They say that in the West so little is known about Hinduism that even a parody like Love Guru could be misinterpreted by teenagers and give them a skewed view of the religion.

“They should draw a line when it comes to people’s faith,” says Bhavna Shinde of the Sanatan Society in the US.

She is upset that the main character wears sacred Hindu saffron robes and carries holy prayer beads.

Mike Myers himself has described the religion he lampoons as a “mythical creation – it’s like the Force in Star Wars”.

Personally, I think it is perfectly OK to make fun of both made up and ‘real’ religions. It is not like there is a lot of difference between them.

Comments

  1. #1 Matt Penfold
    June 18, 2008

    Hang on a minute.

    Hinduism IS made up. I think the producers could be telling the truth here, although not in a way they intended I suspect.

  2. #2 Geoffrey Alexander
    June 18, 2008

    We should still differentiate between the fictions people actually do believe in and what we (fictitiously) suppose people believe. Let’s not build strawmen; the genuine article is flammable enough. It’s a matter of precision :).

  3. #3 Eamon Knight
    June 18, 2008

    I have mixed feelings about this sort of thing. Granted, no religion should be immune from criticism, including by satire. However, this sounds like they’re tossing up a bunch of identifiable stereotypes of a particular ethnic group (ie. Hindus) for comic effect. I can see where that crosses a line into offensive territory, IMHO.

  4. #4 uncle noel
    June 18, 2008

    I think what is being lampooned is a fictionalized New Age version of pop hinduism (think Hare Krishna). Hindu’s should lighten up – from what I’ve seen there is nothing that threatens their beliefs in the film. Now the New Age folks – that’s a different story.

  5. #5 Sean Nicolle
    June 18, 2008

    I find the movie highly offensive. Pretty much because it looks like it sucks. I find it takes a good deal of sensitivity and talent to make a movie that plays on stereotype effective (The Jewish Hammer was well done, methinks). From what I have seen of the previews/trailers, this film has no such sensitivity. The directors just took stereotypes and caricatured them without any real creativity.

  6. #6 Elizabeth
    June 18, 2008

    Having not seen the movie, I will withhold my opinion.

  7. #7 rpenner
    June 18, 2008

    I actually thought it was a parody of Buddhism (albeit with a stage-Indian, Hindu-accented English dialect).

    Not being an Indian-American, I wonder how it ranks on the Hollywood offense scale, which has included such egregious crimes as:
    Short Circuit,
    Short Circuit 2, and
    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

  8. #8 yowi
    June 18, 2008

    What’s funny is that many of the “faithful” can have their beliefs so shaken by something as trivial as a few silly jokes.

    And I can’t imagine it would be anywhere nearly as offensive to the intellect as anything coming out of Bollywood?

  9. #9 Andrew
    June 18, 2008

    … Or anything coming out of the Hindu religion. For instance, many Hindu followers have recently claimed to see the face of a 19th century god in the moon.

  10. #10 Joel_m
    June 18, 2008

    This is no different than all the hippies that protested when they were lampooned by Austin Powers.

  11. #11 Jock Grande
    June 18, 2008

    The movie literature uses the term “nirvana” and the term “ashram” which to my knowledge are strictly Hindu terminologies. There is no doubt about the connection.

    This film may be as close to Hinduism as Davinci Code was to catholic religion. But funnier.

  12. #12 Andrew
    June 18, 2008

    “This is no different than all the hippies that protested when they were lampooned by Austin Powers.”

    I remember those hippies. They burned down several movie theaters and burned Mike Myers in effigy.

    Oh, no, wait, that was Cubans in Florida and Fidel Castro. Always confusing them.

  13. #13 Horace
    June 18, 2008

    Oh, no, wait, that was Cubans in Florida and Fidel Castro.

    No, it was the three stooges and Fred Astaire … Always confusing them too.

  14. #14 rpenner
    June 18, 2008

    The movie literature uses the term “nirvana” and the term “ashram” which to my knowledge are strictly Hindu terminologies. There is no doubt about the connection.

    Hinduism and Buddhism share terminology on nirvana and ashrams.

    http://library.thinkquest.org/28505/buddhism/nirva.htm
    http://www.indiaoz.com.au/hinduism/articles/buddhism_hinduism.shtml

  15. #15 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 19, 2008

    What I want to know is where are all the comedians and film makers protesting this film?

    The shittiness of it is sure to cast aspersions on their kind and create false stereotypes..

  16. #16 Prazzie
    June 19, 2008

    “They should draw a line when it comes to people’s faith,” says Bhavna Shinde of the Sanatan Society in the US.

    Why? Is a large part of having faith not about having it tested regularly?

    I personally take offense to the words “sacred” and “holy” used to describe saffron robes and prayer beads. What makes it holy, just the colour and the fact that you fondle the beads while you talk to yourself? If being fondled makes something sacred, I should have a halo any day now.

  17. #17 Stephanie Z
    June 19, 2008

    The problem isn’t that the comedy will be bad, which it mostly will. The problem is that buried in 90 minutes of cheap sex jokes is likely to be one joke like the sharks with frickin’ lasers on their heads or Beyonce shaking out her afro that almost–almost–makes it worth watching. Myers is a master of the joke that isn’t funny because it’s dumb; it’s funny because it tells you how dumb something else is.

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