Hindus are protesting against the Fox News channel for remarks that river Ganges (whom Hindus consider holy) “sounds like a disease”.
Channel’s Glenn Beck, talking about India in December nine segment titled “This is the best America has to offer?” of his opinion show “The One Thing”, said: “One big river they have there, that sounds like a disease. Come on it does. I mean if somebody said, I am sorry, you have a really bad case of Ganges.”
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Ganges was sacred to one billion Hindus worldwide and such remarks were very hurtful to the devotees. Besides apparently denigrating the religion, it was belittling the entire community.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Fox and its owner News Corporation to be more sensitive when handling faith related subjects, as television was a forceful medium. He asked News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch, Fox Chairman Roger Ailes and Glenn Beck to issue a statement on this matter.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at, Rajan Zed pointed out.
Meanwhile Bhavna Shinde of Forum for Hindu Awakening, in a communiqué to News Corporation and Fox News, protested the insensitivity of frivolous and derogatory reference to the holy river, and urged greater sensitivity to faith sentiments. She has also reportedly sent a communiqué to Federal Communications Commission on this issue.
It is believed that bath in the sacred Ganges purifies one of all sin, and its water if taken daily confers immortality. It finds mention in Rig-Veda; the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE. Kumbh Mela, starting next month, will see an expected influx of about 100 million people from world over coming to take a dip in Ganges.
News Corporation is a diversified global media company with operations in film, television, cable, satellite broadcast, integrated marketing, newspapers and information services, book publishing, etc., and assets of about USD 55 billion. Fox News is reportedly available to about 102 million households.