— Consider reading the article HBO withdraws tweet where it asked which ‘Indian cult’ people are ‘most afraid of’, referring to Aghoris and Brahma Kumaris: Read their apology on OpIndia website —
Home Box Office (HBO) India has on Thursday apologised for referring to Aghori Babas and Brahma Kumaris as ‘Indian cults’ which could send a ‘chill down one’s spine’.
We understand that one of our post may have offended you. Though unintentional, we apologise if it caused any hurt. We stand for entertainment and we commit to entertaining you always.
— HBO India (@HBOINDIA) October 29, 2020
In a now deleted post, HBO India had tweeted, “From Aghori Babas to Brahma Kumaris, which Indian cult sends a chill down your spine?”
The post was meant for the promotion of the upcoming premiere of the 2019 film Doctor Sleep on the channel.
Criticism on social media
The posts received heavy criticism on social media platforms. ‘Doctor Sleep’ has nothing to do with India or Hinduism. Several users mentioned that it is an attempt to paint Hinduism in a bad light. BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra wrote a tweet in which he asked the channel if they are still in doubt after the beheading in France that “which cult sends the worst Chill down the spine.” He further added that the channel “lack the Spine to call out the “Jihadists”!!”
Dear HBO Ji,
After the beheading in France are you still in Doubt ..which cult sends the worst Chill down the spine ..or is it that you lack the Spine to call out the “Jihadists”!!
Or maybe since the Jihadists behead so the metaphor “No Spine So No Chill down the Spine” applies! pic.twitter.com/krYkM1lBzT
— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) October 29, 2020
Good to see you taken @HBOINDIA on. They have taken it down just to modify it and tweet again.
Everyone knows the most barbaric of all the cult is the Abrahamic cult. They are only competing amongst themselves.
Don’t try to project them as Indian Cult.
— Sourav Sinha (@souravsnh) October 29, 2020
This depiction of a religious group is deliberate targeting. It violates violates freedom of religion enshrined in our Constitution. pic.twitter.com/ndIYmgDcme
— Sanjeev Sanyal (@sanjeevsanyal) October 29, 2020
Many pointed out how in some religions, ‘blasphemy’ leads to beheading.
— അഖില/ಅಖಿಲ/अखिल/அகில/అఖిల/Akhila Kumar. (@Akhilakumar2013) October 29, 2020
Lagta hai @HBOINDIA kaa bhoot nikalna naa padega LEGALLY
Inko Aghori Baba aur Brahma Kumari se darr lagta hai aur jaha cartoon ke liye gala kaat de woh cult pyara lagta hai
— Ramesh Solanki (@Rajput_Ramesh) October 29, 2020
OTT platforms thrive on Hinduphobic content
A recent conversation with an industry insider had revealed how online streaming platforms thrive on the anger of Hindus on such Hinduphobic social media posts and content. Patal Lok, Aashram, etc. streamed by Alt Balaji, Netflix, Amazon Prime, MX Player and others have attracted harsh criticism for their Hinduphobic content. Last month, Netflix, in an attempt to ‘secularise’ Rabindranath Tagore’s classic ‘Kabuliwala’, distorted it to show a Hindu girl offering namaz. In Safdar Rahman’s ‘Chhipa’, netizens questioned Netflix for mocking Hindu god Lord Hanuman.