Upset Hindus are urging world’s largest online retailer Amazon.com for the immediate withdrawal of stockings carrying the image of Hindu deity Lord Ganesha and flip-flops carrying sacred Hindu symbol Om; 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 cover your feet and legs or touch with your feet and legs. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or symbols or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the faithful.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Amazon.com and its President Jeffrey P. Bezos to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing three such Lord Ganesha stockings and Om flip-flops, as this was not the first time for the company to offer such products which were deemed offensive by Hindu devotees.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 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 indicated.
Zed further said that such trivialization of Lord Ganesha and sacred Om symbol 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. Sacred Hindu symbol Om is the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Amazon.com, Inc., a Fortune 500 company founded in 1994, and headquartered in Seattle, claims to offer earth’s biggest selection. Ganesha stockings sell from $9.69 to $16.30, while Om flip-flops are priced at $34.97.