Jews support Hindus over protest against Fox News’ denigrating remarks about holy river Ganges
Jews have backed Hindus who are protesting against the Fox News channel for remarks that river Ganges (whom Hindus
consider holy) “sounds like a disease”.
Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA, in a statement today, said that
ridiculing religious convictions, symbols and concepts of others was not okay and it was hurtful to them.
Rabbi Freirich further said that Jews as well as Hindus were for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But
faith was something sacred and attempts at belittling it were painful for the devotees. Television should be more
sensitive while handling faith related issues, as it was a very powerful medium. Humor should not come at the expense of
ridiculing others’ faith and spreading misinformation, Freirich added.
Channel’s Glenn Beck, talking about India in December nine segment titled “This is the best America has to offer?” of
his opinion show “The One Thing”, said: “One big river they have there, that sounds like a disease. Come on it does. I
mean if somebody said, I am sorry, you have a really bad case of Ganges.”
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA), said that Ganges was sacred to one billion Hindus
worldwide and such remarks were very hurtful to the devotees. Besides apparently denigrating the religion, it was
belittling the entire community. Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, asked News Corporation (Fox’s
owner) Chairman Rupert Murdoch, Fox Chairman Roger Ailes and Glenn Beck to issue a statement on this matter.
Bhavna Shinde of Forum for Hindu Awakening, in a communiqué to News Corporation and Fox News, protested the
insensitivity of frivolous and derogatory reference to the holy river, and urged greater sensitivity to faith
sentiments. She has also reportedly sent a communiqué to Federal Communications Commission on this issue.
It is believed that bath in the sacred Ganges purifies one of all sin, and its water if taken daily confers immortality.
It finds mention in Rig-Veda; the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE. Kumbh
Mela, starting next month, will see an expected influx of about 100 million people from world over coming to take a dip
News Corporation is a diversified global media company with operations in film, television, cable, satellite broadcast,
integrated marketing, newspapers and information services, book publishing, etc., and assets of about $55 billion. Fox
News is reportedly available to about 102 million households.