Hindus have strongly objected to “The 700 Level” Philadelphia (USA) sports website of Comcast SportsNet owned by NBCUniversal article urging Philadelphia Flyers, in a game with New Jersey Devils, both professional ice hockey teams of NHL—“Stop Playing Like You Just Drank the Blood of Kali Ma”.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Goddess Kali was highly revered in Hinduism and she was meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and not used for drinking the blood out of her as irrelevantly mentioned by the commentator in this article dated May six. This was highly inappropriate and hurtful to the feelings of about one billion Hindus spread worldwide.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged for immediate removal of inappropriate language from this website regarding Goddess Kali and publication of an apology from NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Stephen B. Burke, Comcast Corporation Chairman Brian L. Roberts and NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus.
Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed stated.
Zed stresses that Hindus are for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. Hindu tradition encourages peaceful debates, won on their intellectual merit. But faith is something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees. Media should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects, as media like religion is very powerful.
Few months back, NBC Chicago television station website labeled Hindu deities as “weird” in a commentary on a NHL game between Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks, but it was removed within hours after Hindus protested. Last year also, Hindus were perturbed to see the portrayal of Lord Ganesh as a sex act on NBC’s Saturday Night Live demonstrated by actors Jim Carrey and Kenan Thomson, mocking elephant-headed Lord Ganesh and his trunk in the process, Rajan Zed pointed out.
Goddess Kali, who personifies Sakti or divine energy, is widely worshipped in Hinduism. She is considered the goddess of time and change. Some Bengali poets described her as supreme deity. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.
The700Level.com provides news, analysis, commentary, photos, videos, “and pretty much everything a Philly sports fans wants”. Comcast Sports Group, part of NBC (National Broadcasting Company) Sports Group, “consists of 14 local networks that deliver 2,400 sporting events annually and breaking news and analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes”. It is a division of NBCUniversal (in which Comcast owns a controlling 51% interest), headquartered in New York City which claims to be “one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience” and whose traces go back to 1926. Comcast Corporation, based in Philadelphia, also claims to be “one of the world’s leading media, entertainment and communication companies”.