Hindus are still upset with “Ganesh Versus the Third Reich” play which had its world premiere at Melbourne Festival in Australia on September 29.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Hindus felt that depiction of their highly revered deities Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu was quite inappropriate and disrespectful in the play.
According to reports, in the play Lord Ganesh was handcuffed by Nazis and interrogated, compared with King Kong and Spiderman, his attire was disrespectful and there was reference of him drinking wine. The actor who played Lord Ganesh reportedly uttered obscenities after taking his mask off, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.
Rajan Zed argued that undue trivialization of Lord Ganesh was hurtful to the devotees who worshipped him in temples and home shrines.
Zed stated that Hindus were unhappy with taxpayer funded organizations like Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria, and City of Melbourne; who supported this play; and felt that these should have been more vigilant and should not be involved in projects resulting in upsetting a community group.
Rajan Zed had earlier stated that Lord Ganesh was divine and theater/film/art were welcome to create projects about/around him showing his true depiction as mentioned in the scriptures. Creating irrelevant imaginary imagery hurt the faithful.
Jews have also supported the Hindus on their concerns about “Ganesh Versus the Third Reich”. Rabbi ElizaBeth W. Beyer, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada, in a statement, said: “Such trivialization of Lord Ganesh, whom Hindus worshipped, would naturally hurt the faithful, and must be avoided”.
Meanwhile, a message from Back to Back Theatre, developer of play “Ganesh Versus the Third Reich”, posted on its website, said to “concerned members of the Hindu community”: “We regret any inadvertent concern or apprehension about the play… it is not our intent to portray Ganesh in a way that is disrespectful …”. Some Hindu community representatives were invited and attended the opening of the play on September 29 night. This play is also scheduled to be exhibited at the “5th World Summit on Arts and Culture” on October four.
One of most widely worshipped deities in Hinduism; Lord Ganesh is regarded as god of wisdom and good luck, patron of learning and remover of obstacles, and invoked at the commencement of all undertakings. Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.