Hindus have criticized the popular new Hindu-themed angry action video-game "Asura's Wrath" for trivializing Hinduism and its concepts.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that such trivializing and reimagining of highly revered symbols and concepts of Hinduism was not okay as it was upsetting for the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged the video-game developers not to unnecessarily drag Hinduism just for mercantile greed. Developers were welcome to use Hinduism related themes but the information should be based on its actual ancient texts.
Rajan Zed pointed out that "Asura's Wrath" showed Durga (who gets murdered) as the wife of Asura; while in Hinduism, Durga was one of the major deities, honored as savior of the world from evil, who destroyed buffalo-demon Mahisasura, a well-known asura. Asura was a hero in "Asura's Wrath", which also featured refashioned Hindu concepts and symbols of Brahmastra (Brahma's missile, which appeared in Epics), Mantra (Vedic hymn) and Naraka (hell). Asuras found mention in ancient Hindu texts of Rig-Veda, Brahmanas, Puranas and Epics, Zed added.
Zed further said that religion was one of the most complex and powerful force of human life, so we must take religion seriously. He argued that freedom of expression was important, but faith was something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees. Video-games developers should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects, as these games left lasting impact on the minds of highly impressionable children, teens and other young people and thus seriously affected the outlook and thought process of our next generation.
Rajan Zed noted that unless the developers could accurately and authentically deliver religious imagery and symbolism, they should not unnecessarily poke into religion. Entertainment, escapism, etc., being the purposes of video-games, it was tough for developers to do justice to religion and treat it fairly or provide it with the real depth it needed. Video-games did not appear to be an appropriate platform to discuss God seriously and added to more confusion in young minds about the already misunderstood arena.
Zed stated that, however, video-games industry was welcome to immerse in religion but taking it seriously and respectfully and not attempting at refashioning religious concepts and symbols. He or other Hindu scholars would gladly provide genuine seekers from video-games industry the resources they needed for their study and research regarding Hinduism.
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 lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be plundered, Rajan Zed said.
Recently released "Asura's Wrath", heavily-infused with Hindu themes, is published by Capcom (headquarter Osaka, Japan), developed by CyberConnect2 (headquarter Fukuoka, Japan), directed by Seiji Shimoda and produced by Kazuhiro Tsuchiya for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms. This game, full of vendetta and uncontrollable anger, takes elements from Hinduism and blends those with science fantasy.
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