Upset Hindus are urging Boston headquartered online home giant Wayfair for immediate withdrawal of bathmats carrying image of Hindu deity Ganesha; calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to put/wipe your feet on. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Wayfair to offer a formal apology.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one 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, Rajan Zed noted.
Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu deity was disturbing to the Hindus world over. 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 hurt the followers, Zed added.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. There are about three million Hindus in USA. Ganesha bathmats at Wayfair sell up to $55.99.
Award-winning Wayfair, founded in 2002, claims to be “one of the world’s largest online destinations for the home” with over seven million products, which included “one of the world’s largest online selections of furniture, home furnishings, décor and goods”. It claims to have generated $3.14 billion in net revenue for the 12 months ending September 30. Besides Massachusetts headquarters; it also reportedly has presence in New York, Utah, Kentucky, Ireland, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia.