It seems that the protesting Hindus will not be able to appeal against the “K11” rating given by Finnish Board of Film Classification to the Hollywood movie “The Love Guru”, which they wanted to be raised.
Maarit Pietinen, Senior Examiner of the Board, in a communiqué to acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed, said, “Only the distributor can appeal against the decision of the Board.”
Criticising this, Zed has said that other affected parties by the movie, in this case Hindus, should also have same rights of appeal against rating decisions as the distributor/owner, if they are not satisfied with the classification.
When asked, “Does not the Board think that this movie ridicules a religion?”, Pietinen replied, “In the Act which we are obliged to follow, there are no such ground as blasphemy or ridicule of religion, therefore it was not discussed.”
“When a program is classified the Board has to take into account whether program (e.g. film) contains material that might be harmful to children’s development. In the Act harmful content is listed as violence, sexual content or horrific content or other comparable content”, Pietinen stated.
Denouncing Finnish Board of Film Classification for giving it “K11” rating when it deserved the highest “K18” rating, Rajan Zed stresses that while Board says “The primary purpose of the classification of audiovisual programs is to protect children”, but by giving “The Love Guru” a “K11” rating, it is leading the highly impressionable Finnish children between 11 to 18 years to grow with a distorted view of Hinduism.
Zed says that in this fast changing world, Board’s classification criteria seems to be outdated and it needs immediate revision.
Supported by some other organisations, Zed has given a Finland-wide boycott call for Hollywood movie “The Love Guru” by Hindus and other religious Finns because it lampoons Hinduism and Hindu concepts and uses Hindu terms frivolously.
Zed, who is president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, and who launched campaign against this movie starting in March, urging other people of faith (besides Hindus) also to boycott the movie, says, “Today it is Hinduism, tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to denigrate another religion/denomination.”
A prominent Jewish Rabbi, Elizabeth W. Beyer of Nevada (USA), has also called for boycott of “The Love Guru” because it “…lampoons Hinduism, mocks Ashram life and Hindu philosophy…”
The antics of Guru Pitka of “The Love Guru” are a mockery of the esteemed institution of guru, who is a highly revered spiritual teacher/master/preceptor in Hinduism and who helps remove the ignorance of the seeker and who leads one from darkness to light. The guru-sishya (teacher-disciple) relationship lies at the heart of traditional Hinduism. Guru is often allied with the divine. Guru bestows spiritual knowledge totally free from selfish objectives, Zed stresses.
On the other hand, guru in “The Love Guru” instigates a bar fight, repeatedly narrates penis jokes, mocks yoga (one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy), wears female jewelry, mocks the concept of third eye, makes disciples drink tea passed through his nose, orders alligator soup, induces elephant copulation in front of the crowd, introduces himself as “His Holiness”, lives in a lavish ashram staffed with scantily clad maids, and whose goal in life seems to appear on Oprah Winfrey show, Zed says.
When did Hindu gurus become available “for hire”? When and who started rating them? When shishyas (disciples) did started joining ashram for the sole purpose to make girls like them? Which Hindu ashram organises fights of disciples with mops soaked in guru’s urine? Which guru urinates in the midst of disciples? Rajan Zed asks.
Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion followers and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at, Zed says.
Meanwhile, signature campaign launched by Hindu groups against “The Love Guru” has crossed the 6,700 mark.
“The Love Guru” (88 minutes), a comedy starring Mike Myers (of Austin Powers fame), opened June 20 in USA and Canada and will be released in different parts of the world in the near future.