Hindus, Jews ask Julia Roberts to restore access of devotees to temple

      Hindu and Jewish leaders have urged Oscar winner Julia Roberts and makers of movie "Eat, Pray, Love" to immediately provide unconditional access to area devotees to the Hindu temple in Pataudi, which had been reportedly closed for shooting. Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu statesman; and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA; in a joint statement in Nevada, said that it was very insensitive to keep the devotees away from their deities and worship place, which they had been reportedly visiting since 1948. Moreover, due to Navaratri, a major ten-day Hindu holy festival connected with the autumnal equinox, which was currently underway, it was cruel to keep the worshippers away from their sacred temple. Various celebrations, like Durga-puja, Sri-panchami (Saraswati-puja), Lalita-panchami, Maha-navami, Amba-puja, Dussehra, formed part of this, during which Goddess Durga restored dharma (righteousness), and included mantra chanting and various other rituals, Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed. According to reports, access to Hindu temple inside the Ashram Harimandir hermitage, about 60 kilometers from India's capital Delhi, was reportedly denied and then conditions were put for area villagers who regularly came there to pray to give way to movie shooting of Roberts and others, thus upsetting the devotees. Women of the village, when they went to the usual darshan (view) of their deities and offer prayers on Sunday morning, were refused entry. The shooting, which began Sunday, is expected to last about 2-3 weeks.

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