Status of protest: In progress
Scenes denigrating Shree Ganesh from the play ‘Ganesh versus the Third Reich’:
January 24, 2013 (Poush Shukla Trayodashi, Kaliyug Varsha 5114):
|| Shree ||
Namaskar, dear supporter of Hinduism,
We have received complaints from several Hindus about a play ‘Ganesh versus the third Reich’ to be showed at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, Los Angeles, USA from 24th to 27th January 2013. The play’s website and poster depicts a man dressed like a Sumo wrestler, wearing an elephant head, posing as Hindus’ revered Deity, Ganesh poised against Hitler. This portrayal of Lord Ganesh is contrary to the way Hindu Scriptures describe the Deity’s form or how the Deity is depicted in Hindu temples. In this play, our revered Deity is being used in a fictitious context and trivial manner. The portrayal of Lord Ganesh in this play is highly objectionable to the Hindu religious sentiments.
Below are the various contact details to register your peaceful protest against this blatant denigration of Lord Ganesh, to all the organizations involved in the showing of this play.
Organizer: Centre for the Art of Performance UCLA, Los Angeles U.S.A
Address of the center: Freud Playhouse, 245 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Media and Promotional Inquiries: Phil Rosenthal Tel: 310.206.8744 Fax: 310.206.3843 [email protected]
Press Inquiries: Jessica Wolf Tel: 310.825.7789 Fax: 310.206.3843 [email protected]
Please do cc [email protected] or inform us of your protest, as we strive to keep you updated about the progress of this protest by the Hindu Community.
We have also published below our correspondence with the organizers of the play, for your reference.
“Dharmo rakshati rakshitaha | (Dharma or God protects those who protect Dharma.)”
Sadhaks at Forum for Hindu Awakening (www.HinduAwakening.org)
Our e-mail correspondence with the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA
To the management of CAP UCLA playhouse Administration,
We are writing this letter to let you know that we have received a number of complaints from Hindus that the obscene play (Ganesh versus the Third Reich) which denigrates and insults Hindu deities Lord “Ganesh” and Lord “Shiva” is scheduled to be shown in your esteemed theater from Jan. 24 to Jan. 27. This play had caused lot of anguish and had hurt the sentiments of Hindu community when it was screened in Melbourne, Australia last year.
There were widespread protests by Hindus and Hindu community leaders against this blatant disregard for Hindu sentiments in this play. In spite of promises given by the play director and the assistant director Alice Nash to remove the objectionable parts; the promises were not kept. Hence we are convinced that the play authorities were not really sensitive to the issues of Hindu community and that they are more interested in their own commercial implications.
Kindly find below, some of the objections in the play which upset the Hindu community.
Forum for Hindu Awakening’ strongly believes that the very theme of this play is flawed; as it denigrates Hindu deities by humanizing them. The play uses descriptions of Hindu deities that are contrary to those in Hindu Scriptures.
- Lord Ganesh is shown captured by the Nazis and is threatened by a knife.
- Lord Ganesh is trivialized as He is shown talking about His relationship, where He ate and drank wine.
- He is compared with fictitious comic characters such as ‘Spider-man’ and ‘King Kong’.
- The character within the play (Brian) who plays Lord Ganesh, frequently takes off the Ganesh mask and utters obscenities like suck my d**k etc.
- The play has an obscene innuendo surrounding Lord Ganesh, wherein one character asks another, whether the length of Lord Ganesh’s trunk is long enough, and the audience laugh.
- A man with board shorts, no shirt and a garland plays Lord Vishnu in the play
- Lord Shiva is portrayed in poor taste and there is a scene where he plucks a human being into two
I would also bring to your notice that a total of 13 Hindu organisations in Victoria state alone, in Australia were against this play and had strongly registered their protest. Please refer to the link below for details of the protests concerning this play.
Hindu Dharma (Hinduism) considers art as a means for universal upliftment of human values and a medium to merge in to the Divine. However this play cannot be termed as art if it tramples upon emotional sentiments of Hindus, in the name of entertainment of a few.
In view of the above facts, it is quite regrettable that the play is now being featured in your theater. We are sure, it will anger the Hindu brethren in USA, due to its content and utter disregard to sentiments of Hindus towards their revered deities Lord Ganesh and Lord Shiva. Hence, it our sincere request to you to please consider the cancelling of this play to avoid any further controversy.
Srinivas Shakelly, a Hindu
Volunteer, Forum for Hindu Awakening