India is transitioning through a paradigm shift, as far as the entertainment industry is concerned. We have seen a rapid increase in the number of ‘Over the Top’ (OTT) platforms recently, with the easy accessibility and cheaper internet and smartphones. People’s behaviour and preferences of entertainment consumption has also undergone a drastic change in recent times.
While these new platforms have provided an alternative platform for new talent and fresh content, it has also led to soft bigotry towards Hindus and Hinduism. We have seen a plethora of content which is abusing Hinduism, propagating lies about Hindus, painting Hindus in bad light and spreading Hinduphobia in a way or other.
We have seen lot of instances, where Hindus have retorted and orchestrated online campaigns to register their protests against these malpractices of these OTT platform content providers, but most of the times nothing happened as these OTT platform don’t come under the ambit of I&B ministry. A recent attempt has been made to bring these platforms under I&B, but we are yet to see any credible change in their approach.
In this article, we will share an instance of another Hindu phobic and Hindu-shaming propaganda of the Amazon Prime series, ‘Breathe Season1. This season is starred by R.Madhavan and Amit Sadh where Madhavan plays a single father named Danny, whose 6-year-old son Josh is suffering from a congenital lung disorder. Madhavan was pained by the sight of Josh with tubes and pipes sticking out of him.
As per the hospital, Josh is at the fourth number on the list to get a new lung, which indeed means that those four donors would have to die before it’s his turn to get liver transplantation. The time was running out for Josh and finally, Madhavan decides to kill the organ donors so that his son can get the liver transplant asap.
In the very first episode of this series, there is a scene where Madhavan is in the hospital, and there he saw a grieving Hindu person, whose father is brain dead. Madhavan approached them and tried to convince them about donating the vital organs of his father. While discussing organ donation, a lady said that in Hinduism, it is not preferred to donate organs, as this is against the ethos of religion.
In a way or another, they tried to establish that the Hindu religion is against organ donation and Hindus are highly stubborn when it comes to any sort of organ donation. It was another attempt to demean Hinduism, it attacks Hindusim, and portrays a bad image of Hindus, whereas, the truth is quite different
What Hinduism says about Organ donation?
Contrary to the lie peddled by this series, there us absolutely no religious law, which prohibits Hindus from donating their organs, blood and tissues to the needy. There is a concept of Life after death in Hinduism and there is a strong belief in an ongoing process of rebirth. Indeed, it is Hinduism, which reflects positively on the concept of organ donation and transplantation.
Few people with their vested interest, argue that if someone donates an organ as intrinsic to the body as a heart, the principle of karma means the recipient will have to return the favor in the donor’s next life – which means the donor will have to have the next life, and lack of organ would be a disadvantage for them in next life. However, the Hinduism belief system says once the soul has departed, the body is no more than a machine, and there is nothing to stop the body parts from being shared with others.
As per the ten Niyamas in the Hindu scriptures, Daan (or selfless giving) is third, and is held as being very significant within the Hindu faith system. This is accepted and promoted as Dharma (righteous living) and ultimately supporting the idea of organ donation.
For Hindus, the idea of organ donation is imposed by the very nature of Sanatana Dharma, and it treats every act or intention of anyone as dharmik. Therefore, it is right to donate organs, only if the act of donating an organ has beneficial results, which indeed a selfless attempt of welfare.
Even in Hindu mythology and scriptures, there are many instances and traditions that support the use of body parts for the welfare of the needy person. Even the famous Sage Sushruta looks at features of organ and limb transplants, and Sage Charaka used to deal with internal medicines and organ transplantations.
The sacred Bhagvad Gita explains the relationship between the soul and the body in a very simple way. It says that “A person puts on new garments giving up the old ones the souls similarly accepts new materials bodies giving up the old useless ones.”
So one should try and alleviate the sufferings of a fellow human being since compassion (karuna) is the hallmark of Hinduism from the very beginning.
Several examples which show significance of Organ donation in Hinduism
Who can forget God Ganesha, who is among the most popular and elephant-headed god? There is an entire story behind the transplantation of elephant’s head onto his body.
In another instance, the famous Rishi Dadhichi gave up his life so that his bones could be used to build Varja, a deadly weapon for Indra. The varja was then used to kill demons. Rishi Dadhichi is believed to have said , “It is better that my bones help you attain victory , rather than rot in the ground”.
There is another popular story of King Shibi who was willing to sacrifice himself in order to save the life of a pigeon who had sought his protection. Gods wanted to test the compassionate and righteous nature of Shibi, and so they assumed the form of a pigeon and a hawk. The pigeon begs for Shibi’s protection, but the hawk says that Shibi is depriving it of its rightful prey. Shibi then offers himself to the hawk instead of the pigeon, even though it means sacrificing his very life.
Hindu scriptures support the concept of compassion(Karuna) and selfless giving (Daan). In the list of the ten Niyamas(virtuous acts), Daan comes third.
Hindus lead from the front when it comes to Organs and Blood donation
Contrary to the propaganda spread by these OTT platforms and left-leaning media, its the Hindus who always lead from the front when it comes to organ and blood donation in India. A national group called the Jain and Hindu Organ Donation (JHOD) steering group was established to lead on organ donation work.
Organ India is another organization which is working since 2013, the Foundation has started working on creating awareness on Organ Donation under ORGAN(Organ Receiving & Giving Awareness Network) India. This initiative has been stated by the Parashar Foundation, which is aspired to remedy the shortage of organ donors in India. It is also working to create an ecosystem to facilitate organ donation in India. This organization is working to educate the public about organ donation and introduce them to the idea in every way and through various mediums and platforms. This organization is headed and managed by Hindus only, and they say that Hindus don’t want to donate organs, isn’t that an irony?
Even the Government’s data shows its Hindus, who donate Blood and Organs in huge numbers. Whereas, other religions like Islam and Christianity have strong reservations towards organ donation, which is evident in the data as well.
It is clearly evident that there are so many online shows and wide variety of content these platforms provide theses days, which display their utter disdain and hatred towards Hinduism. They never leave any opportunity to demean Hinduism, however, we can counter them only via truth and data. Of course, we have to stage protests against them and ensure such shows should not be produced at first place. But at the same time, we should spread the truth about the Hinduism to our people, specially the Youth, who can easily be influenced by these OTT platforms.