16 dec : Hindus have asked Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to “take appropriate action against Fox News and its parent, News Corporation” for remarks about Hindu holy river Ganges which they found denigrating.
Glenn Beck, talking about India in December nine segment titled “This is the best America has to offer?” of his opinion show “The One Thing” on Fox News channel, said: “One big river they have there, that sounds like a disease. Come on it does. I mean if somebody said, I am sorry, you have a really bad case of Ganges.”
Bhavna Shinde of Forum for Hindu Awakening, in a communiqué to FCC today, wrote: “The Hindu community has been hurt by the remarks made by Fox News channel that River Ganges “sounds like a disease”. Hindus worldwide consider River Ganges (known as Holy Gangaa) of India very sacred and revere it. These remarks have denigrated Hinduism and ridiculed the Hindu community, numbering about 1 billion in the world and about 2.3 million in USA”. Shinde has also reportedly written to News Corporation and Fox News.
Meanwhile, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Ganges was holy to one billion Hindus world over and they venerate it and such remarks were very painful to the devotees. Besides apparently denigrating the religion, it was belittling the entire community. Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at.
Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Fox and its owner News Corporation to be more sensitive when handling faith related subjects, as television was a forceful medium. He asked News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch, Fox Chairman Roger Ailes and Glenn Beck to issue a statement on this matter.
It is believed that bath in the sacred Ganges purifies one of all sin, and its water if taken daily confers immortality. It finds mention in Rig-Veda; the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE. Kumbh Mela, starting next month, will see an expected influx of about 100 million people from world over coming to take a dip in Ganges.
FCC is an independent United States government agency charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. Headquartered in Washington DC, Julius Genachowski is its chairman.
News Corporation is a diversified global media company with operations in film, television, cable, satellite broadcast, integrated marketing, newspapers and information services, book publishing, etc., and assets of about $55 billion. Fox News is reportedly available to about 102 million households.