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Smite removes offensive picture of ‘Kali Mata’ from website ; Hindus continue their fight
Universal Society of Hinduism president wants Hi-Rez Studios to show Hindus “responsibility, respect, and maturity.”
Hi-Rez Studios’ online arena game Smite has attracted a lot of controversy with its use of religious figures. Hindus criticized the game for “trivializing” their religion a few weeks ago, and Catholics and Buddhists soon joined the protest. In response to complaints of its depiction of the Hindu goddess Kali, Hi-Rez Studios has removed the offending image from the game’s website.
Hindu statesman and President of Universal Society of Hinduism Rajan Zed called this a “step in the right direction,” thanking Hi-Rez Studios for being so understanding. However, Zed still wants to see the developer “show some responsibility, respect, and maturity” and remove Kali from Smite entirely, along with fellow Hindu gods Vamana and Agni.
Aside from removing the image of Kali from the Smite website, Hi-Rez hasn’t commented on the controversy, so it’s not known whether the Hindu gods will be taken out of the game as well. If not, this probably won’t be the last time the self-proclaimed “battleground of the gods” is part of a religious controversy.
Source : Escapist Magazine
Appeal to devout Hindus
Hi-Rez Studios, a US-based company has created an online video named titled as SMITE, an online battleground of mythical gods features a number of Hindu gods and goddesses such as Kali, Vamana and Agni, the Fire God. This game has portrayed Hindu Goddess Kali Mata in very bad manner, with appearance as a combat porn-star. Kali Mata is highly revered Hindu Goddess and more than one billion Hindus worship her. Also it is grave of insult of Hindu Deities as Deities are not objects to be used for online games.
When Hindus objected use of Hindu Deities in SMITE, Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris said, “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.”
Now it is duty of all devout Hindus worldwide to protest against Hi-Rez Studios so that they should remove Hindu Deities from SMITE. Also they should render unconditional apology to all Hindus for hurting religious sentiments.
Devout Hindus can also send their protests / opinions directly to the concerned people through Comments Section.
Devout Hindus are protesting
SMITE: “I know your religion better than you!” and the Pornification of Kali
By Corbiu Geisha
A scantily-clad blue-skinned woman with four arms, meant to be a representation of the Hindu
goddess Kali. Her upper arms are carrying a pair of serrated curved swords, while her lower hands
are respectively holding a severed head and a censer made of skulls. the SMITE logo is at the bottom right.
SMITE is an upcoming MOBA where players battle it out as deities from the Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, Norse, and Hindu pantheons.
American pop culture has long appropriated other cultures and histories. Many of us have noticed this and we have talked about it, but we were always dismissed with the same arguments over and over. This time is no different.
Rajan Zed, President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, has recently requested that Hi-Rez Studios removed the Hindu deities Agni, Kali, and Vamana from the game. He argued that their depiction in the game is disrespectful, among the many reasons of which are that the game has turned these deities into tools for the player to take control of. You can read more about it here.
So what is the response Zed got? Well, this gem here by Hi-Rez co-founder, Todd Harris :
“SMITE includes deities inspired from a diverse and ever expanding set of pantheons including Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, and Norse. 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.”
A white man misusing the ideas of a religion (probably) not his own and then implying he knows better than a (PoC) leader of said religion? Par for the course, really. Can this get any worse? Yes. Let’s examine how Kali, one of the Hindu deities in SMITE, is depicted.
Before moving on, first reacquaint yourself with Kali’s design in the game. Have you done that? Now, have an example of how Kali is portrayed in religious art :
What SMITE has is not Kali. What they have is a generic monster girl with traits of Kali’s manifestations and lore tacked on.
Perhaps the most well known myth about Kali is her defeat of the demon Raktabija. A basic version of this myth tells of Raktabija, who has attained the ability to replicate himself with every drop of his blood spilled, and who once fought against the Hindu deities. When most the entire pantheon could do nothing against the demon, the goddess Parvati stepped into battle and assumed the form of Kali. By drinking the blood of every Raktabija, Kali won the battle but had gotten drunk on the blood.
The myth tells of only one aspect of Kali. What does the developer do upon hearing this? They give her skills named “Siphon Blood” and “Kali Rage.” In fact, they base her design around a monstrous vampire. The wild hair of the goddess has been replaced with something which makes her resemble Medusa. Her eyes are now blank white and she has been given fangs. The weapons she holds plays up her image as a beheader. She even has tribal tattoos! What else can we do to make her more like a vampiric monster? Well, vampires are sexy so…
Oh yes! The sexualisation! The difference in nudity between the above two examples are quite clear. While Kali in religious art tends to be nude and adorned with severed hands and heads, Kali in SMITE is instead put into an outfit meant to show as much skin as possible without being considered naked. Not to mention that her outfit is not Indian at all. And of course, she is not allowed to have plumpness in any part of her body except her breasts.
This is truly disgusting. Not only is a faith appropriated, but it is done so in a way which turns a widely revered deity into a male sexual fantasy. A goddess in non-sexual nudity is somehow less preferable to a caricature in which she is put in a costume for the male gaze. Whether you agree with Rajan Zed or not about controlling Hindu deities as combat tools is not the issue. The cultural imperialistic mindset which allows a westerner to pornify symbols of Hinduism and yet think he has the right to lecture a Hindu about the religion, this is the issue.
Source : The Border House
New Delhi : Despite similar incidents evoking a strong protest by Hindus in past, a leading US-based video game manufacturer has depicted Goddess Kali- a highly revered deity in India- as a combat porn-star, hurting the religious sentiments of the community.
Meanwhile, the Hindu Jagruti Manch, a leading Hindu outfit also said, “This game has portrayed Hindu Goddess Kali Mata in very bad manner, with appearance as a combat porn-star. Kali Mata is highly revered Hindu Goddess and more than one billion Hindus worship her. Also it is grave of insult of Hindu Deities as Deities are not objects to be used for online games.”
When the characters of this online video game were checked, it was found that the Goddess Kali is barely clad like Hollywood femme fatales, possibly leading to an outrage among a billion Hindu followers of deity.
Source : Zee News
‘Porno’ depiction of Kali in game leads to protest (IBN Live News)
New Delhi: Hindu groups are protesting against Hi-Rez Studios, a US-based company, which has launched an online game, SMITE, with a slutty, femme-fatale portrayal of Hindu Goddess Kali. SMITE is an online battleground of mythical gods and features a number of other Hindu gods and goddesses such as Vamana and Agni.
The Hindu Jagruti Manch on its website says: “This game has portrayed Hindu Goddess Kali Mata in very bad manner, with appearance as a combat porn-star. Kali Mata is highly revered Hindu Goddess and more than one billion Hindus worship her. Also it is grave of insult of Hindu Deities as Deities are not objects to be used for online games.”
While IBNLive checked out the game videos where the characters are pretty tiny, it has found no evidence of the Goddess being portrayed as a pornstar. Yes, she is barely clad like Hollywood femme fatales which is possibly not a reverential portrayal of a goddess worshipped by a billion people.
Source : IBN Live
‘Porno-style’ portrayal of Goddess Kali in online game sparks row (Dainik Bhaskar)
Dainik Bhaskar has given neutral news about protest of Hindus against SMITE depiction of Kali Mata
Source : Dainik Bhaskar
Hindus Criticize Smite For “Trivializing” Their Religion
The Universal Society of Hinduism is once again up in arms over a videogame, this time Smite, a multiplayer game that pits gods from various pantheons against one another in online arena combat. The game is currently in closed beta, with five gods – Artemis, Ra, Kali, Ymir and Sun WuKong – available for free, while others may be unlocked through gameplay or microtransactions. Developer Hi-Rez Studios says it plans to continue adding new gods to the game throughout the beta period and after release.
But Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, wants Hindu gods like Kali taken out of the game. He said that their inclusion in a videogame trivializes the deities and that controlling them with a gamepad or keyboard “denigrates” them and the faith of Hindus. Hindu gods are meant to be worshiped in temples and at shrines, he said, and not reduced to mere characters in games.
But it sounds like Zed is going to be disappointed. “Smite includes deities inspired from a diverse and ever expanding set of pantheons including Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, and Norse. Hinduism, being one of the world’s oldest, largest and most diverse traditions, also provides inspiration toward deities in our game,” said Hi-Rez Chief Operating Officer Todd Harris. “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 isn’t the first time the Universal Society of Hinduism has waded into the videogame fray. Zed made similar comments in March, when he criticized Asura’s Wrath for “trivializing” Hindu gods and upsetting devotees. Then, and now, Zed invited the industry to “immerse” itself in Hinduism, but only if it did so “seriously and respectfully.”
Source : The Escapist