That is the subject line of the various emails acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed routinely — too routinely; there are two dated today and one dated yesterday, and over the last month and a half there has been at least one every single day — sends out [earlier samplings].
The latest collection: Rajan Zed is prepared to be outraged if — if — the planned Hollywood project on the Ramayana with Keanu Reeves playing Rama and possibly, Aamir Khan playing Hanuman [now there is inspired casting for you] turns out to be a Hollywood-style re-imagining that does not adhere line by line with the accepted narrative. He urges the makers to stay true to the story and the spirit of the timeless epic and other Hindu scriptures.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that Ramayana was a highly revered scripture of Hinduism. Hollywood was welcome to make a movie about Ramayana but the final product should be the true depiction of it and not a fantasized or a re-imagined version to fit the Hollywood machine, which was likely to hurt the Hindu sentiments. Moreover, as Hinduism was largely misunderstood outside India, the distortion would add to the confusion. Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly.
Rajan Zed further said that Ramayana was an integral part of Hinduism and was held in such reverence that Hindus believed that simply reading/hearing of it showered blessings upon the reader/listener. Rama, the hero of Ramayana, was incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and was worshipped by Hindus.
Ramayana, an ancient Sanskrit scripture that consists of 24,000 stanzas, explores various themes, including human existence, concept of dharma, etc.
In another email, he spots a Twitter post from Lindsay Lohan that she is “all about Karma’, welcomes her interest, and volunteers to supply Lohan with a set of Hindu scriptures to help her in comprehensive understanding of its philosophy. He also volunteers to share his knowledge with her.
Oh, and he also notes that Malta’s Constitution says “Religious teaching of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Faith shall be provided in all State schools as part of compulsory education.” That is clearly bad, says Zed — Malta should instead come up with a comparative religion class teaching basics of all major world religions, including the viewpoint of non-believers. This will make Maltese “children well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow. Moreover, students should have knowledge of the entire society to become full participants in the European community.”
So now you know. Why should you care? Because he is a Hindu spokesman, that is why [covering all possible bases, he is also an Indian American spokesman. And occasionally, Indian spokesman]. So what do you mean, why should you care? He is your spokesman, is why.
[Not mine. I occasionally resurrect him because he is so fun. Like Pavlov’s dog, I am becoming conditioned to checking for his name in my email box each morning and grinning with anticipatory delight as I click ‘open’. And if you protest too vehemently about my occasional forays into the wonderfully woolly world of Zed, I will in a spirit of malice treat you to every single email of his, so there.]
Afterthought: Do you think Zed is the answer to the BJP’s leadership crisis?
And in passing, a question for those of you who are practicing Hindus: what is the ‘traditional Hindu way’ of blessing a couple in the post-honeymoon phase, please? Also, I missed out on this blessing, whatever it is, 20 years back when I got married — is it too late to get mine? Is there a statute of limitations, do you think/know?