Indian Theaters Censored the Name of a Hindu God Put in 'Black Panther' to Appeal to Indian Fans
In an epic fail of political correctness, Indian censors bleeped out a word specifically put into "Black Panther" to cater to fans in India. Among the religious beings mentioned in the new Marvel movie is Hanuman, the name of an Indian deity which filmmakers used for a god known only as the "ape god" in the comics.
A creative writer in India noted the tragic irony on Twitter. M'Baku "actually says, 'Glory to Hanuman'. Ironic — it will be heard in every country except India (they silenced the name) thanks to our super-sensitive skin that can't handle anything except Aloe Vera these days," tweeted Roshan Radhakrishnan, an anesthesiologist and creative writer in India.
Radhakrishnan went on to lament, "Just silly how we have made fools of ourselves trying to be super sensitive. We can't hear our own God's name spoken by anyone else."
"Hanuman" is the name of a Hindu deity in the epic Ramayana and other Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, and Sikh texts, notably in the Mahabharata, one of the central texts of Hinduism. His theological origins in Hinduism are unclear, but he has been associated with Indian nationalism, heroic valor, and devotion to his personal god. In later literature, he is the patron god of martial arts, and symbolizes the virtues of self-control and service to a cause. He is portrayed as a monkey.
Renaming the ape god Hanuman was a notable nod to Indian fans, but according to the quint, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), a film approval body in India, ruled that the name must be muted in theaters across the world's second-most populous country.
"Black Panther" took the box office by storm, earning an estimated $235 million domestically in its opening weekend. Globally, the film netted $419.6 million.
Some baffled Twitter users offered explanations for why the CBFC censored the name of the Hindu god. "Even the subtitles just say 'Glory to,'" one user remarked. "Perhaps the censor board saw Jabari as antagonists & didn't want to ruffle any feathers by having them praise Hanuman."
A psychiatrist called his home country "the land of outrage." He wrote, "We are officially the land of outrage. Not surprising at all. They even censored the middle finger shown by Shuri!"
"Can't really blame the censor board on bleeping 'Hanuman'. There are many groups in India that do paid OUTRAGE on a daily basis and this could've been one of those cases. Just look at Padmavati," another user tweeted, referencing a film that was delayed for over a month, and finally released after the CBFC mandated multiple disclaimers and even a change in title.
Even if these explanations hold water, fans still lamented the act of censorship. "My heart swole when I heard the reference to Hanuman in Black Panther. It's a shame Indians in India won't be able to hear it because of politics," tweeted Tejal Wagadia, a self-identified Indian girl living in Arizona.