Heidi Klum has upset America's leading Hindus by dressing up as Goddess Kali for a Halloween party at the weekend.
What may have seemed like a little fun for the German supermodel has deeply upset Hindu scholars, who feel Klum should make a public apology for posing as a sacred figure.
Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed says, "Goddess Kali is highly revered in Hinduism and she is meant to be worshipped in temples and not to be used in clubs for publicity stunts or thrown around loosely for dramatic effects.
"Hindus welcome Hollywood and other entertainment industries to immerse themselves in Hinduism, but they should take it seriously and respectfully, and not just use the religion for decoration or to advance their selfish agenda. Casual flirting sometimes results in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols and hurting the devotees."
Zed is not alone in his outrage; various other Hindu leaders, including Jawahar L. Khurana of the Hindu Alliance of India, and Bhavna Shinde of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, have also criticised Klum for posing as Goddess Kali on Halloween (31Oct08), calling it "denigrating".
Goddess Kali, who personifies Sakti or divine energy, is widely worshipped in Hinduism. She is considered the goddess of time and change. Some Bengali poets described her as supreme deity.
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