Politics

Gujarat, Centre Issued Notices Over PIL Claiming PokemonGo Hurts Religious Sentiments

The Pokemon Go interface. Credit: Reuters

The Pokemon Go interface. Credit: Reuters

The Gujarat high court issued notices to the state and central governments on Wednesday, asking them to respond to allegations that the augmented reality game, Pokemon Go, hurts religious sentiments. The developer of the game, Niantic Inc. (based in San Francisco) also received the court’s notice, the Indian Express reported.

The allegations were made in a PIL filed by Alay Anil Dave on Tuesday which was admitted by a division bench led by Justice R. Subhash Reddy.

Nachiket Dave, the lawyer of the petitioner has reportedly been allowed to contact Niantic through email to issue a notice to them.

Dave said, “This game hurts religious sentiments of Hindus and various other religions since eggs are depicted at temples and other houses of prayers belonging to several religions. I moved the PIL to know what is the intention of this gaming company.”

The allegation arose from the fact that images of eggs show up on smartphones inside places of worship. Gamers can collect these eggs, which later hatch into Pokemon.

The petitioner finds this blasphemous because eggs are considered non-vegetarian and therefore should not be carried inside Hindu or Jain temples.

“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 ban on the game from the country,” Dave said.

The PIL has also raised questions about the safety and privacy of individuals.

(with PTI inputs)