An Indian American activist Hindu group is urging Warner Bros. not to trivialize Lord Shiva, the highly revered Hindu deity, in its upcoming Japanese anime television series, “Record of Ragnarok,” calling it highly inappropriate.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement, said that Lord Shiva was meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and “not to be thrown around loosely or dragged around unnecessarily in anime TV series for mercantile greed.”

Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said that Hindu gods and goddesses are divine and entertainment companies are welcome to create projects about/around them showing their true depiction as mentioned in the Hindu scriptures.

Inappropriately reimaging Hindu deities/concepts/scriptures/symbols/icons and redefining Hinduism for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the feelings of devotees, Zed stated.

“Attempts at distorting of Hindu gods and goddesses would be slighting of ancient Hindu traditions,” said Zed, adding that he or other Hindu scholars would gladly help if the industry needed any assistance in exploring Hinduism.

Zed urged Warner Media CEO Jason Kilar; Warner Media Studios and Networks group CEO Ann Sarnoff; and Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment president Jim Wuthrich to seriously look into this issue before launching the anime TV series, reportedly set to premiere in 2021.

In the show directed by Masao Ookubo, Lord Shiva (voiced by Tatsuhisa Suzuki) would be shown participating in a one-on-one fighting match with humans. The show’s official website describes Lord Shiva as “Shiva, Indian god, god of destruction and creation.”

Zed stated 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 adherents, he said.

 “Besides hurting the sentiments, any misrepresentation created confusion among non-Hindus about Hinduism. Insensitive handling of faith traditions sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols,” Zed pointed out.

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought, and it should not be taken frivolously, Zed said. No faith, larger or smaller, should be mishandled, he noted.

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