The president of the Universal Society of Hinduism has called on Sony to withdraw PS2 title Hanuman: Boy Warrior from sale.
The game, which is the first to be developed wholly by an Indian studio, launched in India last month. It sees players taking on the role of Hindu deity Lord Hanuman.
According to a statement issued by the USOH, president Rajan Zed believes allowing players to control Hanuman with an input device amounts to "denigration". Hanuman "was not meant to be reduced to just a 'character' in a videogame to solidify company / products base in the growing economy of India", argues the statement.
Zed stressed that Hinduism encourages free speech and debate, but added that "faith was something sacred" and "attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees". The USOH argues that "game makers should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects" as their products have an impact on children and young people. The full press release can be read over at GamingIndians.com.
Other Hindus have since spoken out against the game, according to Web News Wire. Bhavna Shinde of the Forum for Hindu Awakening said, "Using a sacred figure from Hinduism, namely, the Hindus' revered Deity, Sree Hanuman, as a character in a videogame is highly objectionable to us Hindus worldwide."
She continued: "As an ethical corporation, Sony is expected to treat with respect the objects and concepts held sacred by the one-billion-strong Hindu community." Shinde has called on Sony to withdraw Hanuman: Boy Warrior from sale and issue an apology.
Sony has yet to comment on the issue.