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Goddess Kali being depicted as 'porn star' causes controversy

Americans seem to have a morbid fascination with Hindu goddess Kali. But this ‘love affair’ has always stirred controversy over their ‘inappropriate’ usage of the deity’s image. The latest Kali storm to hit US shores is over the depiction of the goddess as a 'porn star' in an upcoming video game.

The game, SMITE, developed by Georgia-based Hi-Rez Studios, is an online battleground of gods and goddess and Kali has been presented as a femme fatale. The game also features other Hindu gods like Vamana and Agni. The game allows a player to control and manipulate goddess Kali and the other Hindu deities.

Kali ma
Goddess Kali 

Hi-Rez Studios describes SMITE as an ‘online battleground between mythical gods’ in which players choose from a selection of gods. This depiction of the deity has hurt the Hindu community’s sentiments and even led to leaders of the Catholic, Jewish and Buddhist communities condemning the usage and demanding an immediate removal of the deities from the game.

The term 'porn star' was used by the Hindu Jagruti Manch on its website while criticising the online game.

This is not the first time Americans have landed in trouble for using the image of Kali to promote their products.

In May this year, an American brewery had to apologise for naming a beer after the goddess. The Oregon-based company had decided to name the product ‘Kali Ma’ beer and had the image of the goddess with four arms and three severed heads. A public backlash forced them to backtrack.

Heidi Klum
Heidi Klum. File Pic/AFP

German supermodel Heidi Klum also stirred up controversy by dressing up as the goddess for a Halloween party in 2008. She was awarded for the best costume of the night, but later forced to apologise. 

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