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BBC Calls Yoga a ‘Fad,’ Promptly Offends Millions

in World News, YD News

While performing foot-in-mouthasana, the BBC has offended up to one billion Hindus by referring to yoga as a “new age fad.”

BBC News-World posted a video on January 10 marking the 150th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda who is known and celebrated for introducing Eastern philosophies to the Western world in the late 19th Century. Innocent enough, until the BBC refers to Vivekananda as “the man behind yoga and other new age fads.” The President of Universal Society of Hinduism, ever eagle-eyed Rajan Zed, is asking for an apology for what he calls insensitive and belittling remarks. For the sake of context, the quote in its entirety was, “Yoga, meditation and new age fads have become a multi-million dollar industry.” Semantics aside, it is hard to argue with the last bit.

Zed said that the BBC “…should immediately apologize for this inappropriate terminology and hurting the feelings of about one billion Hindus and publish it on BBC website.”

Whether or not Zed is qualified to speak to the feelings of one billion Hindus is up for debate. The knowledge that yoga has been around for far longer than any other so-called fad is not. Certainly the BBC is not the only media outlet to suggest the growing western popularity in yoga is a fad (and cautious Lululemon stock holders have been wary of the bursting bubble for a while now) but this offense was not an isolated case.

Tensions may be remaining from an incident a few months back in which the BBC labeled the Hindu festival of Holi as, “filthy holiday.” BBC News’ Editor On Demand Mark Barlex later issued an apology after this mishap stating, “…we apologise for any offence that was caused.”

BBC has not yet responded to Zed’s demands for an apology.

[Via]

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6 comments… add one

  • Come on now, since the BBC says it, that doesn’t make it true. Opinions are opinions only. Yoga, meditation is not a fad. Certainly the BBC and any news outlet is entitled to their view.

  • JAM

    Not if they’re a bonafide source of objective news they’re not. Opinions come from people. Media outlets are not people and are not entitled to emotion-backed ‘opinions’.

  • Stewart J. Lawrence

    Many Hindus consider yoga, certainly as practiced in the West, as a New Age fad. It’s a stereotype of Hindus to say that they are all yoga lovers – and therefore, would be “offended.” Many Hindus can’t be bothered – never have been bothered with yoga. It is only the yoga industry that fetishizes yoga’s Hindu ties to try to put a spiritual gloss on its marketing. In fact, even some of these marketers – everyone from Tara Stiles to Kathryn Budig – insist that yoga has nothing to do with Hinduism per se. So does Deepak Chopra in his polemics against the “purists” of the Hindu American Foundation.

    So, really, what’s the point of this article? I bet you could find thousands of Hindus who themselves would call yoga a “New Age fad.” Why? Because it IS a new age fad.

  • TK

    Nip slips on page 6 are more scandalous than this.

  • Whoops, bet they’re regretting that. Yoga a fad? It existed before the BBC was even founded.

  • No one is a bona fide source of news. Every outlet has their own twist, noted by their choice of words and inflections. It’s up to us to determine what we consider “the truth”.

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