Pokemon Go virtual eggs defile religious sentiments in India
Pokemon Go, which became the worldwide sensation in no time, has managed to hurt religious believers in India, even before its official launch. Although the augmented-reality game has not been officially released in India, but the game enthusiasts have found ways to play. However, Gujarat-based attorney Alay Anil Dave has filed a PIL (public interest litigation) with the state High Court against Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go. He alleges that the game should be banned in India, as it rewards virtual eggs to vegetarians in religious places such as temples.
Dave’s lawyer said, “People playing the game get their points in the form of eggs which generally appear in the places of worship of different religious groups. To find eggs in temples of Hindus and Jains is blasphemous, and therefore my client has sought a ban on the game from the country.”
Much of India’s Hindu, Buddhist and Jain populations are vegetarian and don’t carry or consume eggs in their worship places. However, in the augmented-reality game, many temples are found as PokéStops, the landmark in the game where players collect goodies including virtual eggs. So, the religious believers are finding this highly objectionable and blasphemous, even if it’s in the virtual world.
Despite the fact that Pokemon Go has already landed up in a High Court in Gujarat, Indian Pokemon Go fans are expressing their discontent over the prohibition of the game. The gaming enthusiasts are questioning both the petitioner and the court that “how can a virtual egg hurt people’s religious beliefs in the real world?”
It will be interesting to see the government’s response and the judgment of the court on this matter. The petitioner is expected to hear from the bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul Pancholi later today.