"Life of Pi" author Yann Martel apparently told Indian reporters that their country is "a horrible place."
Now, a leader of the Hindu community in the United States is calling on the Canadian writer (pictured left) to apologize.
Rajan Zed — the Nevada-based chairman of the Indo-American Leadership Confederation, a group that pushes for cross-cultural understanding — said that describing "such [a] culturally, religiously and philosophically rich country" as India in such a derogatory way was "highly illogical and irrational."
Zed urged international filmmakers to explore the country, as he waxed poetic in a statement describing the "snowcapped mountains, palm-fringed and sun-washed beaches, glorious temples, colorful festivals" and seven other aspects of the culture he deemed wonderful.
The film version of "Life of Pi," scheduled to hit theaters Nov. 21, was filmed in India, Canada and Taiwan. It follows the story of 16-year-old Pi Patel, who is stranded on a lifeboat with a hyena, orangutan, injured zebra and hungry Bengal tiger in the Pacific Ocean, stuck between India and Canada.
Zed said he hoped director Ang Lee would "handle Pi's spirituality exploration and holistic edge with cultural sensitivity" in the film.