Upset Hindus are urging Salt Spring Island (British Columbia, Canada) based firm Hannah Stone Apparel for immediate withdrawal of leggings carrying images of Hindu deities Ganesh and Lakshmi; calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Lord Ganesh and goddess Lakshmi were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to adorn one’s legs, thighs, calves, knees, groin, genitals, waist, crotch, pelvis. Inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Hannah Stone Apparel to offer a formal apology; besides withdrawing Lord Ganesh and goddess Lakshmi leggings from its website.
Apparel companies should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply trivializing of the immensely venerated Lord Ganesh and goddesses Lakshmi to be displayed on leggings; Rajan Zed emphasized.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled; Zed noted.
Rajan Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu deities was disturbing to the Hindus. Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it was painful for the followers, Zed added.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. Lakshmi is the goddess of good fortune and beauty and is also known as ‘world-mother’.
Hannah Stone Apparel sells leggings/pants, boxer-briefs, tank-tops, sports-bras, skirts, art and card decks online. Made in Canada Ganesh and Lakshmi leggings, claimed to hug "in all the right places", were priced at $110 each.
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