At a time when the Indian-American community in the US is seeking answers over the sudden spike in attacks on its members, Hindu Americans were left shocked by the extremely stereotypical portrayal of them in a latest CNN television series titled “Believer”.
The show explores the facts and myths behind the Aghori, a mystical Hindu sect known for extreme rituals. Eminent Indian-American Shalabh Kumar, a top supporter of the US President Donald Trump said, “This is a disgusting attack on Hinduism”. Kumar tweeted: “Hinduism has been attacked because a large number of Hindu Americans supported Trump during the election campaign.” “I condemn @rezaaslan, CNN for airing Believer with fiction.
While most Indians, including many non-Hindus, understand and accept the Aghori way of life, the fact remains that Aghoris have been, almost always, portrayed in poor light by the western press.
If secularism demands non-interference into religious affairs by the government, then our media tries to deliberately distort its meaning by showing bias and preferences, as if they lack both courage and conviction. By consistently ignoring the truth and neutrality, they are gradually their credibility and respectability among the masses. Wondering whether Mr. Aslan would make a similar film on Islam, the religion that he practices.
The problem with the section of media is how they feel ashamed of what they are and try to imply it upon others as well. These media houses have been brought up on a staple diet of secularism of the Congress variety, a generous helping of communist ideology with a dash of ideas from religious that want to convert pagans. With such an input we have this inevitable outcome of the pretentious, sanctimonious and pseudo-intellectual populace that cannot but spew their anti-Hindu perspectives.
The Hindu American Director of Communications, Mat McDermott, met personally Aslan and raised the question of whether Believer would showcase an episode covering Aslan’s own faith, Islam. Aslan informed him that the producers originally intended to shoot an episode featuring the Ashura festival in Pakistan. Everything was scripted, scouted, and ready to go. But no one would insure the production to shoot – at least at a price that didn’t break the show’s budget. The episode was abandoned. If and when there’s a second series of Believer, Aslan assured that Islam would definitely be included, the HAF statement added.
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