15 Dec : Hindus have filed a formal complaint with United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against the Fox News remarks regarding India’s Ganges river (considered holy by Hindus), which Hindus found denigrating and ridiculing.
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 this complaint, reportedly said that these remarks had denigrated Hinduism and ridiculed the Hindu community, urging action against Fox News and its parent, News Corporation.
Acknowledging receipt of the complaint, FCC wrote back to Shinde: “The Commission will review what you have submitted carefully to determine whether it contains sufficient information to suggest that there has been a violation of the obscenity, indecency or profanity laws. If it appears that a violation may have occurred, the Enforcement Bureau will start an investigation, which may include a letter of inquiry to the broadcast station… thank you for contacting us about this important issue.”
Meanwhile, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged FCC to speed up the process as the community was very upset with the remarks. Ganges was holy to one billion Hindus world over, including about 2.3 million in USA, and they revere it, and such remarks were very painful to the devotees.
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.