Hindu pilgrims protest in India, say Bollywood movie song offends faith

Dozens of Hindu holy men in saffron robes torched CDs and posters for a new Bollywood film in northern India on Monday, saying one of the movie’s songs has language offensive to the faith and should be banned.
Some of the holy men have asked a court in the Allahabad, a Hindu religious hub in Uttar Pradesh state, to pull the film from theaters. A hearing is set for July 25.
The protesters were mostly sadhus _ Hindu pilgrims who vow to be celibate and renounce material possessions, then wander the country visiting shrines in hope of atoning for their sins.
The film, "Strings," is about a British man who tries to learn Indian spirituality by joining the sacred Kumbh festival, a massive regular gathering that often draws millions of Hindus.
"This film song has a lot of rubbish. It insults `Om,’ one of our holiest chants, and lampoons our national and religious icons in the filthiest language," said one sadhu, Suresh Maharaj, as he read out parts of the song that allegedly mocks Hindu practices and deities.
"If this film is not banned, it will create religious tension," said another protesting sadhu, Harishchandra Patel. "Our protests are only going to increase."
The sadhus shouted slogans against the makers of the film, directed by Sanjay Jha and featuring Adam Bedi. They set fire to soundtrack CDs and posters promoting the movie.
Many critics have panned the film, which was released in theaters on Friday.
More than 80 percent of India’s 1.06 billion people are Hindus. The country also has large numbers of Muslims, Christians and followers of other faiths.

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