Hindu Leader Criticizes Sony Video Game

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A video game released by Sony Computer Entertainment has come in for criticism from Rajan Zed, a Hindu leader in the U.S., who has urged Sony to withdraw the game.

"Hanuman: Boy Warrior", a video game for the PlayStation 2, trivializes Lord Hanuman, a highly revered deity of Hinduism, Zed said in an e-mail.

Sony said on Tuesday that it does not plan to withdraw the game from the market.

In a video game format, the player would control the destiny of Lord Hanuman while in reality, believers put their destinies in the hands of their deities, Zed wrote.

Controlling and manipulating Lord Hanuman with a joystick, button, keyboard, or mouse is "denigration", he added.

Lord Hanuman is a key deity in the Indian religious epic, the Ramayana, and is described as leading a monkey army to fight demon King Ravana.

The game has been described by Sony on its web site as a "growing up" story of Lord Hanuman, who starts as a powerless being and regains his powers through the game.

The game, which is currently only available for sale in India, was developed with inspiration from Hindu mythology, and prominent Indian scholars were consulted at every step, said Atindriya Bose, country manager for Sony Computer Entertainment, in an email.

The aim of the game is to encourage young Indians to celebrate the stories of Lord Hanuman and to help bring the key lessons to life, he said.

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