(RepublicanDaily.org) – The new film “Oppenheimer” premiered at theaters in the United States on July 20, telling the story of nuclear engineer Robert Oppenheimer and his help developing the nuclear weapons dropped on Japan. The film has met with largely positive reviews, however unexpected blowback has come from Hindus around the world, who say that Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan disrespected their faith and its holy scripture the Bhagavad Gita.
The specific complaint is a scene where Oppenheimer has sex with a woman named Jean Tatlock who asks him to read the Bhagavad Gita in its original Sanskrit while they have sex. Hindus have expressed outrage online, including Indian information officer Uday Mahurkar who penned a letter to Nolan saying the scene should be cut from the film completely for the sake of interfaith respect.
The Bhagavad Gita is the primary sacred scripture of the Hindu faith and takes part as a debate between the warrior Arjuna and a manifestation of God named Krishna. The theology in the passage read in the film concerns Arjuna coming to understand that God needs him to fight the battle in front of him as part of his dharma or destiny. Refusing to live up to his warrior role would constitute a failure even if it feels better for him to shirk his duty and avoid bloodshed in that moment prior to battle.
For his part, Mahurkar said the scene of Oppenheimer reading the holy book during sex is “unnecessary” and is a “direct assault” on the beliefs of one billion peaceful Hindus worldwide. Mahurkar added that in our “polarized” world it’s important to extend the same “courtesy” to Hindu believers as you would to those of other faiths such as Jews or Muslims.
Although Oppenheimer has been a major hit in India, it has been rated U/A by the nation’s film board and nationalist Hindus such as those from the Save India Foundation said the inclusion of the Bhagavad Gita should be “investigated” and “severely punished” when the culprit behind this is discovered.
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