Tulsi Gabbard, American politician and a practicing Hindu, took to Twitter to express how the first episode of CNN’s Believer with Reza Aslan found “sensationalist and absurd ways to represent Hinduism”.
The series premiered on Sunday, 5 March. In the episode, Aslan explores the facts and myths behind the Aghori, a mystical Hindu sect, known for extreme rituals.
After the episode was aired, many Indian-Americans have expressed their displeasure at the show’s depiction of Hinduism.
Previously, CNN faced criticism for calling Varanasi the ‘City of The Dead’ in a tweet. Authors, politicians, and historians reacted sharply to CNN’s portrayal. Many even demanded that the channel and Aslan issue apologies.
"When we are witnessing intolerant attacks on minorities, telecasting this serial will add more misrepresentation, bias and may lead more hate crimes," said Khanderao Kand, a community leader, who had initiated efforts to eradicate misrepresentation of Hinduism in California text books in 2004.
“With multiple reports of hate-fuelled attacks against people of Indian origin from across the US, the show characterises Hinduism as cannibalistic, which is a bizarre way of looking at the third largest religion in the world,” US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) said in a statement.
"In a charged environment, a show like this can create a perception about Indian Americans, which could make them more vulnerable to further attacks," said Sanay Puri, chairman USINPAC.
CNN's Believer with Reza Aslan show promotes xenophobia and Hinduphobia, alleged Ajay Shah of American Hindus Against Defamation.
Source- The Quint