New York, April 08: While insisting that the producers of 'The Love Guru' should not have placated Hindu protesters by agreeing to pre-screen the Hollywood comedy for them, self-help guru Deepak Chopra, who plays a cameo in the film, has welcomed the publicity.
Chopra, the India-born, US-based writer of many best-selling books, said he called the film's star and co-producer Mike Myers, known for the Austin Powers films, to tell him: 'If you think you are going to placate them, you are going to anger them even more. I would not placate them'.
Chopra told reporters on Monday: 'I would make fun of them (the Hindu groups). I would say your faith is so weak that a comedy can offend you.'
''The Love Guru' is a comedy and comedies poke fun,' he continued. 'I make a cameo appearance in the film, and viewers will find that no one is more thoroughly skewered in it than I am.'
Paramount Pictures, the studio behind the film, has agreed to show the film, when complete, to Hindu leaders. They were persuaded by Rajan Zed, who has floated a Hindu group after receiving attention for delivering Hindu opening prayer in the US Senate last year. Looking at the one released trailer of the film, he felt the film lampooned Hinduism and might create negative stereotypes of Hindu characters.
Billed the biggest Hollywood comedy this summer, the film revolves around the Myers character of Pitka, an Indian style American guru with a penchant for resolving romantic problems of celebrities. Also starring Ben Kingsley, Jessica Alba and Justin Timberlake, the film appears to be using double entendres - 'His karma is huge' is its tagline, and guru characters have names like Tugginmypudha.
Chopra said: 'This was a great opportunity to make our Indian philosophy even more popular because despite the popularity of the books, young kids do not know much about it and humour is a good vehicle.'
Chopra's book 'Why Is God Laughing' will be launched in June around the release of Myers' film. The book, he said, is about Myers and how he covers up his existential depression through comedy.
Chopra expressed gratefulness to religious critics for creating publicity both for the movie as well as for his book.
Chopra is already being called the anti-Christ and a devil by fundamentalist Christians for claiming that Jesus never intended to start a religion in his new book 'The Third Christ'. His stance on the movie may earn him the ire of some fringe Hindu groups as well.