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Home News Reports Tulsi Gabbard, first Hindu lawmaker in US, blasts CNN for negative portrayal of Hinduism

Tulsi Gabbard, first Hindu lawmaker in US, blasts CNN for negative portrayal of Hinduism

CNN is broadcasting a series titled “Believer” that is hosted by a person named Reza Aslan, often termed as an apologist for Islamism. Reza, who had once attacked American comedian and commentator Bill Maher for allegedly stereotyping Muslims based on extremist elements, has now been accused of doing the same to Hinduism through his show on CNN.

The show attracted criticism in the last few days after people noted gross manipulation and misinformation being peddled by Reza. Apart from picking up a mystical and atypical sect like Aghoris to broad-brush a plural belief like Hinduism, the show invented facts such as terming Varanasi as “city of the dead” and defining Ghats (river banks with steps) as “crematorium ground”.

Reza and CNN also made wrong and sensationalist claims about being the first to shoot about Aghoris at a particular place, whereas many documentary makers have done the same earlier.

Now US lawmaker Tulsi Gabbard, who represents the Democratic Party and is the first Hindu to be elected to the US Congress, has criticised the show for stereotyping Hindus at a time when there have been reports of hate crimes against Indians.

In a series of tweets, Tulsi accused CNN and Reza Aslan of reinforcing stereotypes about Hindus and Hinduism through the show. She also claimed that the show virtually painted entire Hindu community as “cannibals” and that Reza was behaving as if he was touring a zoo. She feared that the show will increase Hinduphobia and people’s misunderstanding about Hindus.

It remains to be seen if CNN and Reza Aslan decide to address these concerns, or they will accuse Tulsi Gabbard of being a “Hindu fundamentalist” and “bigot”, as usually happens with anyone who speaks up for Hindus or Hinduism.

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