Connect with us

People Are Boycotting Oppenheimer After ‘Disgusting’ Line Offends ‘One Billion People’

Off The Record

People Are Boycotting Oppenheimer After ‘Disgusting’ Line Offends ‘One Billion People’

The Christopher Nolan-directed biography Oppenheimer has broken records all over the world.

Despite widespread acclaim, the Hindu right in India has begun to push back.

The controversy surrounds a sexually explicit sequence in which Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) quotes the Bhagavad Gita, a religious literature important to Hindus.

An official in the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government of India has criticized the movie as a “disturbing attack on Hinduism” that is “part of a larger conspiracy by anti-Hindu forces.”

Image source: Flickr/Tim

Controversy Over an Intimate Scene in Oppenheimer

Murphy, in order to better play the part, had read the Bhagavad Gita.

Telling Indian cinema reviewer Sucharita Tyagi, “I thought it was an absolutely beautiful text, very inspiring,” he praised the work. As his biographer puts it, “I think it was a consolation to him [Oppenheimer], he kind of needed it and it provided him a lot of consolation, all his life.” Hindu philosophy had a significant influence on Robert Oppenheimer.

He was fluent in several languages, including Sanskrit, which he had taught himself. [1]

The film chronicles Oppenheimer’s whole life, from his early years until the creation of the bomb that would bear his name.

Nowadays, some refer to him as the “father” of the atomic bomb.

He added, “We know the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.’ I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.” [2]

This line is heard numerous times in the film, especially during the contentious sequence.

As Oppenheimer’s lover, Jean Tatlock, Florence Pugh (also in the scene) is having s**ual relations with Murphy.

Image source: denstoredanske

Pugh stops in the middle of the conversation, pulls out a Bhagavad Gita, and hands it to Murphy.

After he finishes reciting the famous sentence, they go back to making out.

“This is a direct assault on religious beliefs of a billion tolerant Hindus…”

The Save Culture Save India Foundation’s founder and India’s Information Commissioner, Uday Mahurkar, wrote an open letter to Christopher Nolan on Twitter.

In it, he asked that the steamy scene be cut. “The Bhagwad Geeta is one of the most revered scriptures of Hinduism. Geeta has been the inspiration for countless sanyasis, brahmcharis and legends who live a life of self-control and perform selfless noble deeds,” he writes.

“We do not know the motivation and logic behind this unnecessary scene on life of a scientist. But this is a direct assault on religious beliefs of a billion tolerant Hindus, rather it amounts to waging a war on the Hindu community and almost appears to be part of a larger conspiracy by anti-Hindu forces.”

He goes on to say that he hopes Hollywood will treat Hindus with the same deference it shows when dealing with Islam and the Quran.

According to Mahurkar, “We urge, on behalf of billion Hindus and timeless tradition of lives being transformed by revered Geeta, to do all that is needed to uphold dignity of their revered book and remove this scene from your film across world,” Mahurkar concluded. “Should you choose to ignore this appeal it would be deemed as a deliberate assault on Indian civilisation.“

The Response

Information and culture minister Anurag Thakur, who had demanded the cut scene and action against India’s Central Board of Film Certification, was joined by many others who shared same view. [3]

Others, meanwhile, argue that the outcry was excessive.

Some others found the scene offensive, but they didn’t see it as an assault on Hinduism.

Some people said Mahurkar was speaking for all Hindus, while others said he was unfairly comparing Hinduism to Islam.

Now Trending:

According to early estimates, the film’s opening day in India’s box office was the highest for a Hollywood film that year (2023).

Please SHARE this article with Family and Friends!

Continue Reading
To Top