Hindus upset at Georgetown University utilizing dacoit film as resource to explain Hinduism

Hindus have strongly objected to utilizing of film “Bandit Queen” as resource in the Hinduism course being taught at Georgetown University (GU) of Washington DC (USA) in Spring 2012-2013.

What a 1994 dacoit film had to do with teaching of Hinduism, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed asked in a statement in Nevada (USA) today.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said: I could not understand the intent of GU that instead of talking about the rich philosophy Hinduism offers; it chose “Bandit Queen” to help explain Hinduism to students.

Rajan Zed pointed out that there was no mention of Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita, Ramayan, Brahma-Vishnu-Shiv-Durga-Ganesh-Lakshmi-Saraswati, moksh, mantra, yoga, Ganga, Diwali, Karma, Bhakti, etc., in the “Hinduism Today” (THEO-051) curriculum mentioned in the Course Catalog. Instead it chose to utilize resources which did not represent mainstream Hinduism and showed it in not so good light.

Zed noted that description of another course—THEO-057 The Hindu Religious Tradition—being offered in Fall 2012-2013 labeled ideas and practices of Hinduism as “paradoxical and bewildering”.

This oldest and prestigious Catholic and Jesuit institute of higher learning in USA established in 1789 and claiming to provide “next generation of global citizens” a “world-class learning experience”, GU should treat the oldest and third largest religion of the world more respectfully and depict it more honestly, Rajan Zed suggested.

Moreover, GU should make efforts to provide specific designated space for worship, congregation and cooking to Hindu students (who are reportedly in considerable numbers on the campus now) like other religions on the campus. Hindu students should not feel sidelined, Zed added.

Georgetown University claims to be one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions.  Its library holds over 2.4 million volumes and its annual tuition per student can be up to $47,544. Dr. John J. DeGioia is President; Paul Tagliabue is Board of Directors Chair, while Terrence P. Reynolds is Theology Department Chair.

Roman Catholics, headed by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, are the largest single denomination of Christianity with about 1.2 billion adherents out of which Jesuits form the largest single religious order of priests and brothers. Hinduism has about a billion followers and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

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