Written by Albany Tribune
September 30, 2012
Hindus are upset with American political satirist and TV host Stephen Colbert for depicting them as a tribe of some stocky primitive furred creatures jumping in the woods.
Talking about diversity at the recent Democratic National Convention in “The Colbert Report”, Colbert said: Everywhere you looked, there were black people, Asian people, Latinos, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus…and simultaneously showed the picture of an African-American, an Asian, a Latino, a Jew and a Sikh. But while depicting Hindus, he showed what appeared to be a group of stocky primitive furred creatures jumping in the forest.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that showing Hindus as primitive furred creatures was highly insulting and unacceptable to the one billion strong Hindu community spread worldwide, including about three million in USA. Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with a rich philosophy, Zed added.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, asked Colbert to issue a public apology on his show, besides an official apology from Philippe Dauman, President of the parent company Viacom.
Rajan Zed says that according to a Pew Forum survey last year, Hindus top in education in America as compared to any other religious group; Hindus have second highest income levels in the country, second only to Jews; and Hindus have the lowest divorce rate in the country. While national total is 11%, 48% Hindus have post-graduate degrees, followed by Jews at the second place at 35%. While national total is only 18%, 43% of Hindus come in $100,000+ income category, survey added.
Zed argued that instead of applauding Hindus for continuing with the traditional values of hard work, higher morals, stress on education, sanctity of marriage, etc., amidst so many distractions; Colbert chose to humiliate us apparently for higher ratings aimed at mercantile greed.
Colbert should have ascertained his facts and done his home work before lampooning the entire community for wrong reasons, Rajan Zed stressed.
“The Colbert Report” is an Emmy Award-winning series hosted by Stephen Tyrone Colbert on Comedy Central television channel, owned by Viacom, leading global entertainment content company headquartered in New York. Sumner M. Redstone is Executive Chairman of Viacom’s Board.