Singer superstar Tina Turner has angered Hindus in England - by agreeing to play an Indian goddess in a new British film.

Hindu organisations claim the American singer's sexually-explosive image on stage is inappropriate for the role in MERCHANT IVORY movie THE GODDESS.

And now religious leaders are threatening to picket cinemas that show the film.

HASMUKH SHAH, the chairman of VISHWA HINDU PARISHAD UK, a fundamentalist group, says, "These people would not dare to portray anything to do with Islam, but Hindus are easy targets for them.

"Our liberal attitude is taken for granted and our tolerance is exploited. But when pushed, Hindus will become intolerant.

"Why don't they get a rock star to portray the Prophet Mohammed and see the wrath of Muslims? They wouldn't dare.

"Casting Tina Turner is insensitive and we won't stand for it."

Another British-based Hindu organisation - HINDU HUMAN RIGHTS - is circulating a petition to be presented to Merchant-Ivory productions criticising the choice of Turner because of her reputation as a sex symbol.

The petition reads, "We have no quarrel with Ms Turner as such, but because of her reputation as a 'sex icon' it is improper to cast her."

So far 1,000 signatures have been collected.

08/03/2004 10:06