Hindu religious

A religious group has threatened legal action against a Hollywood studio for alleged religious bigotry and prejudice in its portrayal of Hindu gods in the film Lara Croft - Tomb Raider.

The World Vaishnava Association (WVA) yesterday accused Paramount Pictures of attempting gross cultural insensitivity and demanded that the offending scenes be cut from the picture and that the studio apologise or face a lawsuit.

"Certain scenes in the film amount to expressions of religious bigotry and prejudice that are unacceptable," WVA spokesman Syama Sundar told AFP.

"Scenes of devotees of God being depicted as demons and being killed are extremely offensive to Hindus and we strongly protest against the abhorrent use of our sacred culture.

"If the film maker does not apologise and remove these scenes from the film immediately, we will have no choice but to seek legal redress," he said, adding that the group was "very serious" about the threat of a law suit.

Paramount officials in Hollywood were not available for comment on the allegations.