New Delhi: Hindu groups are protesting against Hi-Rez Studios, a US-based company, which has launched an online game, SMITE, with a slutty, femme-fatale portrayal of Hindu Goddess Kali. SMITE is an online battleground of mythical gods and features a number of other Hindu gods and goddesses such as Vamana and Agni.
Catholics, Jews and Buddhists have come out in the support of those Hindus who are upset with this. Well-known Roman Catholic leader in Nevada, USA, Father Charles T Durante, prominent Jewish leader in western USA Rabbi ElizaBeth W Beyer and distinguished Buddhist leader from Nevada, USA, Reverend Jikai' Phil Bryan have issued separate statements criticising Hi-Rez's game. Reverend Bryan has reportedly said: "Shame on the game-makers for denigrating these Supreme Beings".
The Hindu Jagruti Manch on its website says: "This game has portrayed Hindu Goddess Kali Mata in very bad manner, with appearance as a combat porn-star. Kali Mata is highly revered Hindu Goddess and more than one billion Hindus worship her. Also it is grave of insult of Hindu Deities as Deities are not objects to be used for online games."
While IBNLive checked out the game videos where the characters are pretty tiny, it has found no evidence of the Goddess being portrayed as a pornstar. Yes, she is barely clad like Hollywood femme fatales which is possibly not a reverential portrayal of a goddess worshipped by a billion people.
Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris's words have been pretty high-strung. "In fact, given Hinduism's concept of a single truth with multiple physical manifestations, one could validly interpret ALL the gods within Smite to be Hindu. And all gods outside of Smite as well. Ponder that for a minute. Anyway, going forward Smite will include even more deities, not fewer," he has been quoted as saying.
Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said he's urging Hi-Rez to reconsider their portrayal of these gods and that they should have them removed from the game, especially Kali. He has called the portrayal "pornographic style".
"Video game makers should be more sensitive while handling faith-related subjects and no faith, larger or smaller, should be trampled. As these games left lasting impact on the minds of highly impressionable children, teens and other young people; such inappropriate depictions would create more misunderstandings about Hinduism, which was already a highly misunderstood religion in the West," Zed's official press statement reads.