Hindus are thankful to 20th Century Fox and Director Bryan Singer for deleting reference to Lord Krishna in the movie “X-Men: Apocalypse”, releasing May 27, which was there in the trailer in December last, which devotees felt was inappropriate as Lord Krishna is highly revered in Hinduism.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed wrote to 20th Century Fox in March last urging Singer and 20th Century Fox Chairman James N. Gianopulos to not have any inappropriate references to Lord Krishna in the final movie, unless those were true to the scriptures or based on scriptures.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, spearheaded the protest in December saying that “such trivialization of Lord Krishna, who was highly revered in Hinduism, was quite inappropriate and disturbing to the devotees”. In a statement in Nevada today, he expressed thanks to Singer and Fox for deleting reference to Lord Krishna in the final movie, thus showing maturity and responsibility, and understanding the feelings of Hindu community.
There was comparison of blue-colored villain Apocalypse of action-adventure Hollywood superhero movie “X-Men: Apocalypse” with Hindu deity Krishna in the trailer released in December last, upsetting the Hindus. This trailer indicated Apocalypse saying: I have been called many things over many lifetimes—Ra, Krishna, Yahweh.
Rajan Zed pointed out that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees and confused non-Hindus about Hinduism. Lord Krishna was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for pushing movies for mercantile greed of filmmakers.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Zed noted.
Rajan Zed further said 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 followers, Zed stated and added that insensitive handling of faith traditions sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols.
Hindus welcomed Hollywood to immerse in Hinduism, but taking it seriously and respectfully and not for refashioning Hinduism concepts and symbols just to further its agenda. Hollywood was welcome to make movies about Lord Krishna or other Hindu deities but the final product should be true to the scriptures and not a fantasized or a re-imagined version, Zed indicated.
Rajan Zed suggested that Hollywood executives should be sent for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of audiences and communities when creating new products. If Hollywood executives needed any expertise on Hinduism related issues, he or other Hindu scholars would gladly provide the resources, Zed added.
Lord Krishna, usually depicted as blue-skinned, is the eighth avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu and subject of major Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord) and Bhagavad-Purana. There are about three million Hindus in USA and moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.
“X-Men: Apocalypse” stars Golden Globes nominated James McAvoy, Oscar nominated Michael Fassbender and Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence. Its official website talks about Apocalypse as: Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. It is also reportedly slated for release in India’s languages Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Claimed to be “one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures”, 20th Century Fox Film (headquartered in Los Angeles and whose history goes back to 1904) produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world.