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|July 30, 2001||
In the UK, Hanuman is an ape!
The film Lagaan has run into hot controversy over the subtitling of the film across cinema halls in Britain.
The subtitles appearing on British screens several times use the word 'ape' to describe Hindu gods of whom the characters are speaking with great reverence. Hanuman, particularly, is described in the subtitles as an 'ape' while the characters are actually praying for his blessings for success in a cricket march against a colonial British team.
The film, which is about the conflict between a group of Indian villagers and a racist and abusive British is now dealing with an abusive rendering in Britain of the words spoken in an Indian film.
The National Hindu Students Forum (NHSF) is launching a petition to protest against the subtitling in the film.
"Those subtitles should have been thought about very much more carefully," Nishma Shah, general secretary of the NHSF told rediff.com.
"This film is being distributed widely in the West and the perception by Westerners of our dieties and our gods has not been given its true and correct form."
The NHSF has launched a petition to protest against the subtitling, Shah said. The NHSF plans to collect thousands of signatures and hand it over to the distributors.
Several other Hindu groups are not inclined to wait. "We will hold a demonstration outside cinema halls where Lagaan is being shown," a leader from the youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad told rediff.com.
"Our people are livid, and they cannot get away with this sort of a thing."
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