The Love Guru

Paramount Pictures

For something meant to be a comedy, Mike Myers' latest big-screen offering is certainly stirring up a lot of drama.

Just a few weeks after U.S.-based Hindu leaders—without even seeing the film—spoke out against the potentially offensive and religiously insensitive premise of The Love Guru, critics in India have banded together to request that the film be banned altogether from the country's cineplexes.

A representative for the influential Mumbai-based Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Society for Scientific Spirituality elaborated on previous complaints that the film plays into stereotypes and potentially ridicules the religion's beliefs.

"If the trailer is an indicator of the content of the movie...then we feel that this movie is most likely to hurt the sentiments of seekers from various spiritual paths...it will hurt the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus worldwide, who hold the 'Guru-disciple' relationship as sacred," Bhavna Shinde said in his plea.

"Poking fun is one thing, but if it creates a sense of belittling other's faith, then it is wrong."

Despite the public complaints, though, India's Central Board of Film Certification told the Hollywood Reporter that it has yet to receive a formal request from any group to block the film's release.

The idea to ban the film is neither far-fetched nor novel, as the prestigious British Film Institute has already acquiesced to the Hindu group's request, confirming that it will not be showing Myers' latest creation.

"Please rest assured that the BFI will not be screening this title nor will be involved with a possible release of it," BFI Press Officer Ilona Cheshire said Tuesday.

While that only prevents the film from being shown by the Institute, and not by Britain as a whole, it may still come as a bit of a blow to the erstwhile Austin Powers.

Paramount, meanwhile, claims the movie is simply an example of the noble art of satire and maintains that it will screen the film for various Hindu groups prior to the film's release, which has yet to nail down an overseas date but which is due out in the U.S. June 20.

The film itself revolves around India's second-best guru, Guru Pitka, who is paid to return to the U.S. to heal the broken heart of a hockey player so that his team can win the Stanley Cup.

Bad karma is one thing. Bad premise is something else entirely.

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