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Oppenheimer: Nolan’s Film Sparks Controversy Over Hindu Beliefs


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Renowned filmmaker Christopher Nolan has found himself embroiled in controversy following the release of his latest movie, ‘Oppenheimer,’ which stars Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh. The historical drama has come under fire for a controversial intimate scene involving the sacred Hindu scripture, Bhagavad Gita. Hindu officials and community members have expressed outrage over what they perceive as an attack on their religious beliefs, demanding the removal of the scene from the film.


The Save Culture Save India (SCSI) Foundation’s founder, Uday Mahurkar, took to social media to denounce the movie and its director. In a lengthy post, he criticized Nolan for including a 15-minute sequence that he believes is a “scathing attack on Hinduism.” The scene in question features a woman holding the Bhagavad Gita while engaging in sexual intercourse with a man, prompting severe backlash from the Hindu community.

The Bhagavad Gita holds significant spiritual importance for Hindus, making it a revered scripture within their faith. Mahurkar’s argument revolves around the alleged disrespect shown to this sacred text and the insensitivity towards the sentiments of over a billion Hindus.

While the intimate scene itself has sparked outrage, Mahurkar also highlighted the apparent double standard in Hollywood’s portrayal of religious themes. He pointed out that Islamic scriptures like the Quran are typically avoided in movies to prevent offending Muslim audiences. Mahurkar questioned why the same courtesy is not extended to Hinduism, urging filmmakers to be more considerate of diverse religious sensitivities.

The controversial scene involves Murphy’s character, J. Robert Oppenheimer, interrupting the sexual act to recite the famous verse, “I am become Death, destroyer of worlds,” from the Bhagavad Gita before resuming the act.

Critics argue that the scene’s inclusion seems unnecessary and lacks a clear rationale, considering the life of the scientist, Oppenheimer, as the focal point of the film. The portrayal of a sacred text in such a manner has raised eyebrows and led to accusations of a deliberate assault on Hindu beliefs.

The situation has escalated as Hindu community members perceive the scene as an intentional attack by anti-Hindu forces. As calls for the removal of the controversial sequence gain momentum, Nolan and the film’s producers face growing pressure to address the issue and consider the impact on religious sentiments.

In response to the growing controversy, the film industry is witnessing a debate about creative freedom versus cultural sensitivity. While filmmakers should have the liberty to express their art, it is equally essential to be mindful of cultural and religious implications when portraying sensitive themes.

As the debate continues, Nolan and the creators of ‘Oppenheimer’ face a critical decision that could determine the film’s reception within the Indian market and the global audience at large. Striking a balance between creative expression and cultural respect remains a challenge that filmmakers must grapple with.

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