BBC plans to produce films on Hinduism

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Shown on BBC One, a new documentary strand of five films a year will reportedly explore faith and ethical issues in all the major religions in stimulating and contemporary new ways, including Hinduism.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, welcomed British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for the idea of producing films on Hinduism, calling it a step in the positive direction.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, hoped that BBC would project Hinduism in these films accurately and basing on the ancient Hinduism scriptures and not reimagine Hinduism concepts and traditions to fit its agendas.

Moreover, we would like BBC to show fairness to Hinduism by broadcasting more Hindu programs and dedicating more hours to Hinduism, Rajan Zed stated.

According to a 2016 report in The Sunday Times, “The BBC is too Christian in its religious output, according to an internal review, and should increase its Muslim, Hindu and Sikh programming”.

Zed urged BBC Director-General Lord Tony Hall to seriously and honestly look into this and increase broadcasting of Hinduism related programs and issues substantially on BBC TV, radio and online.

Rajan ZedHinduism was highly under served at BBC, Rajan Zed stressed.

Zed pointed out that multi-culturalism had been fast growing in United Kingdom (UK) and it was now a diverse society formed of various religions and denominations and non-believers, but BBC had not kept pace with it. Hindus deserved more airtime at BBC and live aarti broadcasts from major Hindu temples in UK should regularly feature in BBC schedules. It was time for the disproportionate religious output at BBC to end, giving way to evenly distributed time among various religions/denominations/non-believers.

BBC should also ensure adequate coverage of Diwali, Holi, Krishna Janmashtami, Maha Shivaratri, Ram Navami, Ganesha Chaturthi, Navaratri, Duserra, Hanuman Jayanti, Makar Sankranti, Yugadi and other Hindu festivals, Rajan Zed added.

Hymns from ancient Sanskrit scriptures, contemporary bhajans and Hindu sermons should regularly form part of BBC One’s about 54 years old “Songs of Praise” program, one of the world’s longest-running religious television series. Hindu hymns, songs and faith stories were also highly inspiring, warm and engaging; and moreover, God liked all songs-of-praise, irrespective of the religion these came from, Zed indicated.

Rajan Zed further said that BBC, being “a public service broadcaster funded by the licence fee paid by UK households”, including the Hindu households, should have been more responsible and inclusive in its religious programming. It should not ignore “other” faiths in its content and productions, and across its various channels and services.

Zed requested the intervention in this multi-faith issue of The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, whose “priorities” included “people, communities and nations learning to live together with deeply-held differences – in a spirit of love and respect”.

Rajan Zed noted that BBC; whose  “values” included “celebrate our diversity” and “great things happen when we work together”; and whose  “purposes” included “reflect, represent and serve the diverse communities”; should show some maturity on this issue. BBC should take religion more seriously, and help us build interconnections and create harmony.

Zed also urged Ofcom Chairman Dame Patricia Hodgson and Chief Executive Sharon White to thoroughly investigate this matter as the license fee placed a duty on the BBC to serve all audiences.

BBC labeled “yoga” as “fad” in 2013. BBC also labeled Hindu festival of Holi as “filthy festival” in 2012 to which it apologized later. BBC has been blamed in the past for racism, imperialist stance, Indophobic bias, anti-Hindu bigotry, anti-American bias, etc.

Launched in October 1922, headquartered in London, and established by a Royal Charter; BBC claims to be the “world’s leading public service broadcaster”. Every UK viewer needs to have a TV License, which costs £147.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion in the world, has about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I could not trust BBC to show Hinduism as a kind, caring, tolerant and culturally rich religion, nor to mention that Hindus are the most law abiding, our youngsters one of the most highly educated and gainfully employed ethnic community not only in Britain but throughout the West. Hindus have also integrated well with the indigenous people of Britain, unlike other ethnic minorities. I would not be surprised if BBC concentrate on caste, creed and other such obscure issues which has no baring in the West. Caste has become a burning issue in the minds of a tiny, misguided, mischief making but influential politicians who have ulterior motive, although practically the whole Hindu community is united in opposing this divisive legislation. I hope leading members of the Hindu community who will be invited to take part, do not lower their guards, fooled in believing that BBC will be fair and put Hinduism in true light, that Hindus form the tiniest prison population and no Hindus are in our prison on terrorism charges, give Hinduism and Hindus the credit it deserves.

  2. It is a good initiative by BBC who after all survives on the licence payer’s money among whom there are hundreds of thousands of us in the UK. As I have steadfastly protested before and I agree with the previous comments, BBC whether online or in other programmes depicts Hindus as someone who can be made fun of or be condensed in the useless fake gurus, polluted Ganga, caste and cow stories. If you analyse the headlines of online news they have nothing better to report other than cow vigilantes and the narratives then ends up sullying our great PM Shri Narendra Modi (gladly he couldn’t care less). Hence its the duty of us UK Hindus to unite and insist on getting the BBC producers to make contemporary interesting and historic value programmes which our younger viewers will find acceptable and worthy of learning. I will certainly be watching and keep protesting if they stray off the line!

  3. Hinduism is like a open book you can write any thing on it and say it is Hinduism.So BBC will do what it will like to produce.

  4. It seems to be a good beginning . In 1960’s or 1970’s one mr Yaavarr Abbas, who was a chif Cameraman for bbd during 2nd world war , had produced a series named : “india, My India” in one of which he had shown the burning of Dead bodies ( CREMATION )by Hindus & all the rituals connected with it.

    So why above Serial cd not be shown again with improvement & the movement of Maharishi Dayanand SARASWATI, FOUNDER of the Reformist HINDU ORGANISATION < BETTER KNOWN AS "ARYA SAMAJ " & Arya SAMAJ under his Grand & VERSATILE SCHOLARSHIP WITH PROOFS THAT THE UNTOUCHABILITY WAS NEVER IN VEDAS , WHICH EVEN MAHATMA GANDHI BORROWED FROM MAHARISHI DAYANAND SARASWATI INCLUDING GANDHI'S FAMOUS "NAMAK SATYAGRAHA" ETC. SO BBC MAY ALSO BE PERSUADED TO BROADCAST SUCH ASPECTS OF HINDUISM ALSO.
    S C GUPTA, MUMBAI, TEL : 9820587609.

  5. Some years ago we visited Banaras. The scene which we saw along the river we will never forget. When BBC will show that Hinduism , many of us will complain but can we stop throwing half burnt bodies in the river.Any one who recently visited , please comment what did you see . Is there any improvements.There was a film “Shocking Asia” produced many years ago , showing some of the scenes along this place. It is an adult film but shocking.

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