Universal Society of Hinduism Calls for Removal of Hindu Gods from SMITE
What is it about religious deities being represented in media that drives some people nuts? Hi-Rez Studios has drawn the attention of US based President of Universal Society of Hinduism Rajan Zed, who is demanding that Hi-Rez Studios remove their use of Hindu gods from their upcoming MOBA, SMITE.
Zed argues that, Âreimagining Hindu scriptures and deities for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the religious sentiments." He also took issue with the goddess Kali and other deities being manipulated by a joystick, button, mouse and/or keyboard, calling it Âa denigration of these deities.Â
Develop posted a response from Hi-Rez Studios COO Todd Harris that doesnÂt look like the studio plans on removing anything, but it does look like theyÂll be adding more deities to SMITE as development progresses.
"SMITE includes deities inspired from a diverse and ever expanding set of pantheons including Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, and Norse," said Hi-Rez chief operating officer Todd Harris.
"Hinduism, being one of the world's oldest, largest and most diverse traditions, also provides inspiration toward deities in our game."
"In fact, given Hinduism's concept of a single truth with multiple physical manifestations one could validly interpret ALL the gods within SMITE to be Hindu. And all gods outside of SMITE as well. Ponder that for a minute. Anyway, going forward SMITE will include even more deities, not fewer."
This isnÂt the first time that media of some form has drawn fire because of the portrayal of deities or religious icons. In 2005, riots broke out in several countries in protest after a Denmark newspaper cartoon portrayed the Islamic prophet Muhammad, resulting in a number of deaths, firebomb attacks, assaults on the Danish embassies in Syria and Lebanon and even the attempted murder of the cartoon's artist.
Say what you will about the Universal Society of HinduismÂs position, at least they were civil about their opposition.