Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

‘Love Guru’ Stirs Up Controversy

LoveGuruPosterforIdolChatte.jpgWeeks before its release, Mike Myers’ latest film, “The Love Guru” is raising flags and stirring up controversy. Scheduled to hit theaters June 20th, the story revolves around an American, Guru Pitka, who is raised by gurus in India. In this comedy, he returns to the U.S. to find fame and fortune in the world of self-help and spirituality. Guru Pitka does not identify himself with any one faith or creed, yet the Hindu community feels that this new Meyers movie has the potential to ridicule many elements of their religion.
Rajan Zed, who was the first Hindu priest to open a session of the U.S. Senate when he recited a prayer on the Senate floor in 2007, and president of the Nevada based Universal Society for Hinduism (USH), told The Associated Press, “‘The Love Guru’ appears to be lampooning Hinduism and Hindus and uses sacred terms frivolously. People are not very well-versed in Hinduism, so this might be their only exposure. They will have an image in their minds of stereotypes. They will think most of us are like that.” Zed insisted that Paramount Pictures pre-screen the film for prominent members of the Hindu community before its theatrical release.

The Universal Society of Hinduism aims at providing worldwide Hindu identity, enhancing understanding of Hinduism, and fostering interreligious dialogue. Besides the USH, Shri Ramayan Pracharini Sabha, another Hindu group, has also reportedly expressed displeasure over the portrayal of Hindu characters as buffoons in the film.
Noting that the film features spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra and Hindu actor Manu Narayan, Paramount in its release said that, “‘Love Guru,’ which is not yet complete, is a satire created in the same spirit as ‘Austin Powers.’ It is our full intention to screen the film for Rajan Zed and other Hindu leaders once it is ready.”
As per MSNBC reports, Myers who is himself a follower and long time friend of Deepak Chopra, said, “He (Chopra) is the basis of why I went down this path of a character like that, and it’s because I am interested in higher states of consciousness and I am interested in comedy. The guru, he breaks down your barriers, gets you silly and gets you light so you’re in a place to receive love.”
With this controversy, “The Love Guru,” has gotten more publicity than it anticipated. If all goes well with the pre-screening of the film for Hindu leaders, come June 20th, one can expect to see many curious Hindu’s lining up to see for themselves what this controversial film is all about.
–written by Visi Tilak

  • nanabear

    Why can’t people accept movies as just that entertainment. I use to tell my children when they were small. ” Remember this is just a movie and people are paid to act like that” Just laugh feel better and enjoy. That is what makes movies so wonderful is it just fantasy and make believe. The person who can laugh at himself or herself always has something to laugh at. Just escape from your own reality for the lenght of the movie and relax, you might enjoy yourself more than you think.

  • Bhaktigirl

    Why is it that a film portraying Hinduism in a comic light is ok, much like it is apparently ok to use Hindu terms such as guru, avatar & others in a completely non-spiritual way, yet one doesn’t see terms like “computer rabbi” or “economics priest”? And I doubt anyone would be able to make a movie making fun, or light, of Christianity, Judaism, certainly not of Islam, but it’s ok if it’s Hinduism? To say the guru in the film isn’t of any particular faith is a lame excuse- what other faith could he be?….It’s easy to dismiss the fuss if it’s not one’s own faith that is being satirized!

  • Avi

    I agree with the previous comment, however there should always be a learning aspect to any media being broadcasted. A movie of such large audience should bare responsibility on the messages and ridicule it makes. If you are to ridicule a set of people make sure you balance it out by doing the same to everyone outside of the set. This way everyone really gets something to laugh at, and thus laugh at our differences and similarities.

  • Diana l Fertig dreamcat Shakijnanakriya

    FOLks The point of what this film,seems to make-
    is that there IS steroe-typing for ALL people,and if we can-
    listen with our HEARTS& learn about others,faith ETC-
    we finD that WE ARE ALL ALIKE.
    People hide in names & labels-
    I’m A Catholic,I’m A HIndu–whatever-
    we are humans—-first-
    IF we put up walls-then we don’t see others,as our self-as our brothers
    and sisters-
    we dont hear,others outside of our own little group.
    Thats what happened,at the Tower of babel-
    people didnt understand each other-
    because they spoke different laugauges-
    In a song by Crosby,Stills,Nash and Young-from the 70’s,
    called “Wooden ships” it was about the Jewish holocaust.
    Theres a line from it—“If you smile at me,I will understand,
    cause that’s something everyone everwhere,does in the same langauge.”
    thats the point—to learn-share-love. Not judge,as a grandma,
    who just found,i’m a real incarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,its better to have an open mind and heart,so as to understand
    the truths of life,to show compassion.
    The Chinese have been killing Tibetans,for 50 years.
    Hitler was stopped after 5 years,so whats really important here?
    To bridge the gap of ignorance-I’m too poor to see this movie-
    I’m a writer/activist on many sites- like beliefnet, etc working for this planet free.
    hope that cleared up the question!love to all,ps 400 a week read my blog.-me
    to be happy,and he

  • peacecat

    Why can’t people accept movies as just that entertainment. I use to tell my children when they were small. ” Remember this is just a movie and people are paid to act like that” Just laugh feel better and enjoy. That is what makes movies so wonderful is it just fantasy and make believe. The person who can laugh at himself or herself always has something to laugh at. Just escape from your own reality for the lenght of the movie and relax, you might enjoy yourself more than you think.
    It’s important to take movies and other entertainment lightly and not literally, however, entertainment has been used an excuse to portray various groups/religions etc in an offensive manner. that doesn’t mean, of course that every humorous portrayal of a “group” is inherently offensive to that group, only that the excuse that “it’s only entertainment” can and has been used often to justify racism, homophobia and other offensive attitudes which serve to create more fear and separation between peoples. that being said, I have an Indian guru that I follow with a sincere devotion, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t keep an open mind about Love Guru.

  • Marcus

    “The Love Guru” should be a very exciting, funny breath of fresh air for the world. People who are afraid of the films potential to ridicule Hinduim should be far more ashamed and concerned at the seemingly countless precession of con men and sexual deviants who have and are making a mess of the potential purity of the spiritual role of a real guru in the name of Hinduism. This movie will be a funny, harmless, contribution to the world of satirical comedy in a world that takes religion far too seriously. There have been countless films and comedic scetches that have made fun of all the various world religious traditions. The movie “Dogma” comes to mind. I think that its a bit foolish for us to expect that any religion should be protected from satire in this day and age. “The Love Guru” will make many people laugh, forget about their problems and feel at ease. That is a very good thing. In fact, its something that religions aspire to do for people but often fail at doing.

  • moggyman

    Hinduism is pluralistic meaning, as I see it can be used and multiplied into any satirical prose intended for daily use in real life or fictional life.Portrayed in many ways Hinduism can be funny as well as seriously educational and is example for any individual to use for common and practical purposes. There words that are sanscrit and daily hindu that are universally used to mean certain things and is used daily in homes businesses schools unis and in love and fights. The Land of Kamasutra is also universal exampled as the life one should live today.

  • A. Nonymous

    I think it is good that people can make light hearted fun of things.
    But then again, it can also go too far.
    We don’t see images of Oriental folks in the movies with buck teeth, running around acting like idiots. But that was standard comedic fare in the 60’s…as were very demeaning jokes about women and minorities.
    So, it is good to keep an eye on all forms of expression to make sure that they don’t cross lines.
    The Simpson’s portrayal of the Indian guy at the 7-11 was, I think, somewhat demeaning. It is a quick and cheap stereotype.
    Making fun of Gurus is a touchy subject. There are reactionaries in this country who think only their version of religion is true. And movies like this do help to serve their agenda. We have nihilists and atheists and movies like this also help to serve their agenda.
    Which is the more common image of India in the American eye…Gandhi? or some ludicrous stereotype? I would have to say that the more common image is some ludicrous stereotype. So, I would say, that until there really and truly exists a culture of respect for India in this country, that movies like this do tend to keep a bias against India and what it truly is and truly stands for.
    Doesn’t mean I think censorship is in order…but I do think that some sensitivity and reflection couldn’t hurt. Mike Meyers is a very wacky guy. I mean, this is the guy who had a 400 lb Scottish guy trying to eat a baby. So, he is pretty well established as a guy we don’t take seriously. But, I do think there are undercurrents in these images of an arrogant superiority in which only America is right.

  • peacecat

    well said A. Nonymous

  • Satya

    Just recently the 85 year so called Jagadguru Kripalu Maharaj disgraced himself and Hinduism by raping a young girl in Trinidad. Earlier in his life he raped three young minor girls in Nagpur. This is the reality of many so called gurus! It is good for Hinduism that these vermin are exposed!

  • anonymous Canadian

    Censorship in any form is still censorship. This includes having to “vet” your creative work by any self-interest group that claims to hold the high moral ground regarding the subject matter of your creativity. Hate crimes aside, there seems to be an expectation on the part of many groups that their views are the ones which should hold reign over others’ views. This is pretty self-evident in the comment that Hindu people should get a pre-screening of the movie before it hits box offices. To all offended parties: why not just leave this alone and not blow it out of proportion, since oftentimes that backfires on the people who caused the blow up and dissemination of motives results.

  • Anonymous


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