Hindu leaders have taken aim at British pop star Cheryl Cole after learning she'll be portraying Indian goddess Kali in her new video. Reports suggest the singer will be all-blue for the promo of Parachute - and Hindus are far from happy.
Religious scholar Rajan Zed has called for "clarification" from Cole, explaining, "The goddess Kali is highly revered in Hinduism and she's meant to be worshiped in temples, and not to be duplicated in music videos for publicity stunts or thrown around loosely for dramatic effects." Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, adds, "This should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed. The inappropriate use of Hinduism concepts and symbols is not OK."
"We welcome entertainers who immerse themselves in Hinduism, but they should take it seriously and respectfully and not just for indecorous showing of Hindu symbols and concepts to advance their selfish agenda. Casual flirting sometimes results in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols and hurting the devotees."
Cole isn't the first star to upset Hindus by portraying Kali - Heidi Klum became a target when she dressed up as the deity for a Halloween party in 2008. And Natalie Portman upset religious leaders when she portrayed another Indian religious figure, Princess Carmensita, in then-boyfriend Devendra Banhart's "Carmensita" video.