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Backlash Against ‘Oppenheimer’ Grows After Controversial Scene Offends Hindu Community

Christopher Nolan’s latest cinematic triumph, “Oppenheimer,” has stirred controversy just days after its global release, drawing ire from India’s Hindu-right community. The backlash centers around a specific sex scene where the protagonist, portrayed by Cillian Murphy, reads from the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Hindu text.

The inclusion of the Bhagavad Gita in the film is attributed to the real-life Oppenheimer’s deep interest in Hinduism, which led him to translate the revered text from Sanskrit to English.

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Members of the Hindu community, particularly from India, have expressed outrage over Nolan’s portrayal of Oppenheimer’s affinity for the religion in such a explicit context.

Uday Mahurkar, journalist and founder of Save Culture Save India (SCSI), penned an open letter directly addressing Christopher Nolan:

“It has come to our notice that the movie ‘Oppenheimer’ contains a scene which severely criticizes Hinduism,” Mahurkar wrote. “According to social media reports, the scene depicts a woman making a man read the Bhagavad Gita aloud while engaging in sexual intercourse. She holds the Bhagavad Gita in one hand while adjusting their position with the other.”

Mahurkar continued, emphasizing the sacredness of the Bhagavad Gita within Hinduism and urging Nolan to respect its dignity by removing the scene from the film worldwide.

However, not everyone in the Hindu community shares Mahurkar’s sentiments, with some criticizing his attempt to speak on behalf of all Hindus and drawing comparisons to other religions.

The film itself chronicles the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist behind the first atomic bomb, and has already achieved significant box office success, grossing $80 million in the US and $174 million globally.

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