MUMBAI: A scene featuring a holy Hindu scripture in nuclear-arms biopic “Oppenheimer” has drawn social media fire in India, with many online users saying they would boycott the movie because of what one nationalist group called a “scathing attack on Hinduism”.
The scene features the protagonist reciting a verse from the Bhagavad Gita, considered the holiest of Hindu scripture, just before sexual intercourse.
The film, which was released in India on Friday with much fanfare, was rated by the Central Board of Film Certification “U/A”, which recommends parental guidance for viewers aged under 12.
“This should be investigated… on an urgent basis and those involved should be severely punished,” the nationalist “Save Culture Save India Foundation” said in a press release.
Comments by the organisation’s founder, government official Uday Mahurkar, condemning the movie were also retweeted more than 3,600 times.
“We do not know the motivation and logic behind this unnecessary scene on the life of a scientist. But this is a direct assault on religious beliefs of a billion tolerant Hindus,” he wrote.
Universal Pictures India, the local unit of the film’s producers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither did officials from the film certification board.
The movie, directed by Christopher Nolan, stars Cillian Murphy as US physicist J Robert Oppenheimer, who oversaw the creation of the atomic bomb during World War II.
It grossed around 600 million rupees (RM34 million) since Friday, Warner Bros Discovery, which released the film in India, said today.
Indian cinemas, which like their global peers are struggling to attract viewers away from online streaming services, are banking on “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie” to boost earnings especially after a string of Bollywood flops kept audiences away.