Ill-timed show on Aghori’s rattles Indian-Americans

Opening shot - Who are the Aghori? Photo courtesy:
Opening shot – Who are the Aghori? Photo courtesy:

CNN's show "Believer" hours away from being aired is creating major concern among Indian Americans amidst the growing hate violence in the country. Episode showing a miniscule follower of a Hindu sect called 'Aghoris' will air at 10 pm EST, March 5 or Singapore time 11 am, March 6.

A disturbing promo featuring the host of the show Reza Aslan talks about Aghori ideals being adopted by middle class Hindu Indians.

US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), the advocacy organization of the Indian American community has "asked" CNN not to broadcast the show "Believer with Reza Aslan". A release issued by USINPAC describes Aslan's sensational piece on Hinduism and Cannibalism talks about a fringe sect called Aghoris in India, and presents (incorrectly) it as the face of Hinduism.

Sanjay Puri, Chairman, USINPAC Photo courtesy: USINPAC
Sanjay Puri, Chairman, USINPAC Photo courtesy: USINPAC

USINPAC Chairman Sanjay Puri remarked, “We are very disappointed. This is an issue that is of deep concern to the Indian American community evidenced by the large number of calls/emails we have received. In a charged environment a show like this can create a perception about Indian Americans which could make them more vulnerable to further attacks.”

The release further states, "CNN story on Hindu rites and cannibalism is completely baseless. Most Hindus are vegetarians and uphold non-violence. USINPAC strongly protest CNN and Reza Aslan's portrayal of Hinduism in this narrow fashion."

"With multiple reports of hate-fuelled attacks against people of Indian origin from across the US, the show characterizes Hinduism as cannibalistic, which is a bizarre way of looking at the third largest religion in the world."  

"Majority of Indian Americans are Hindus. This show will create confusion about Indian Americans faith and make them further targets of hate crimes. USINPAC appeals to all Indian Americans to contact CNN to pull this episode off the network, especially after 4 recent attacks on Indian Americans." USINPAC release.