Rajan Zed, an American Indian politician and President of The Universal Society of Hinduism has protested the use of Hindu Deities in Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei Series.
Shin Megami Tensei is a JRPG where the player recruits mythical figures from various pantheons. Hindu deities like Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha, Hanuman, and others have all appeared in playable characters in the series including its recently released latest entry, Shin Megami Tensei V.
Zed, specifically has a problem with the referral of Hindu deities as “demons” which he believes is a word that connotates ‘evil spirit’ or ‘devil’ while ‘diety’ refers to ‘Gods or Goddesses.
He argues that this is blasphemous to the Hindu religion and says that a responsible company like Sega Sammy Group, which owns Atlus, should not be trivializing the beliefs of others.
“Casting Hindu gods and goddesses, who were highly revered by the devotees, as demons was a sacrilege” Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said in a statement in Nevada today.
“A supposedly responsible company like Sega Sammy Group, which claimed to be “living up to society’s ethical and public expectations”, should not be in the business of trivializing the deeply held beliefs of “others” and ridiculing entire communities”
He has stated that he is not against freedom of speech and has no problem with Hindu themes and Gods being used in mainstream media however believes that it must be done in a way that is respectful to the religion.
Zed wishes for Sega Sammy Chairman Haruki Satomi to apologize and suggests that the team at Atlus re-evaluate their systems and procedures and send their staff for religious and cultural sensitivity training so that such inappropriate content is not included in the future.
The Hindu politician has previously criticized Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse for the depiction of Krishna as an antagonist in the game.
It should be noted that the term ‘demon’ in Shin Megami Tensei refers to all supernatural deities in the game, even the angels are ‘demons’ within the series. This is based on the Greek word ‘daemon/daimon’ which can be roughly translated as ‘god’, ‘spirit’, or ‘supernatural power’ and did not have the negative connotation that the modern word implies.
Shin Megami Tensei has also made use of deities from numerous other faiths as demons in the games. This includes Judeo-Christian and Buddhist deities being featured in both positive and antagonistic interpretations.
Shin Megami Tensei V is available for Nintendo Switch
Discussion about this post