Game depicts Goddess Parvati as subservient, earns ire

Rajan Zed ,Fate/Grand Order, mobile, video game, Japan, Delightworks Inc., Goddess, Hinduism, Parvati

Hindu leader Rajan Zed expressed his displeasure at “Fate/Grand Order” (FGO) mobile role-playing video game, developed by Japan’s Delightworks Inc., for reportedly introducing goddess Parvati as one of the “new” servants; saying it trivializes a highly revered Hindu deity.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, urged Tokyo headquartered Delightworks Inc. to withdraw the character of goddess Parvati in its free-to-play FGO video game, whose tagline is “This is a story about taking back our future”.

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Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that in this mobile game set-up, the player became the Master who summoned and commanded servants controlling their movements, including goddess Parvati; while in reality the devotees put the destinies of themselves in the hands of their deities.

Moreover, goddess Parvati depicted in FGO appeared more like a belly-dancer than the Hindu deity devotees were used to seeing, Rajan Zed pointed out, and termed it as incredibly disrespectful.

Zed indicated that reimagining Hindu scriptures, symbols, concepts and deities for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. Controlling and manipulating goddess Parvati by the game-player was denigration. Goddess Parvati was meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and not to be reduced to just a “servant” in a video game to be used in combat in the virtual battleground.

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Rajan Zed further said that Hindus were for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees. Video game makers should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects, as these games left lasting impact on the minds of highly impressionable children, teens and other young people, Zed added.

He said: “Hindus welcomed entertainment industry to immerse in Hinduism but taking it seriously and respectfully and not for refashioning Hinduism scriptures, symbols, concepts and deities for mercantile greed. He or other Hindu scholars would gladly provide genuine entertainment industry seekers the resources they needed for their study and research regarding Hinduism.”

Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. No faith, larger or smaller, should be mishandled, Rajan Zed noted.

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In this game, Goddess Parvati is shown as carrying Trisula (trident), which is her greatest weapon; while in reality Trisula is Lord Siva’s most powerful weapon. In the game, when Parvati is equipped with Nandi, it increases her performance; but in Hinduism, Nandi is Lord Siva’s mount. This kind of misinformation spreading creates further confusion among non-Hindus about Hinduism, Zed states.

Delightworks Inc. undertakes planning, development and management of games. Tactical, turn based FGO, on iOS/Android platform and composed by Kinoko Nasu, is claimed to be “easy to learn, but hard to master”. “Servant” in this game is “an attendant that serves the Master” and follows orders.

No country has given Hinduism “official” or “preferred” religion status