Upset Hindus have urged world’s largest online retailer Amazon.com for the immediate withdrawal of doormats carrying the images of various Hindu deities-temples-saint and sold on its website, calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that it was shocking to visualize that Amazon.com, for its mercantile greed, apparently persuading the world to scrub/wipe the soles of their shoes before entering a building on the faces of gods which Hindus worshipped.
Images of Hindu gods depicted on the doormats sold at Amazon.com website—Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Ganesha, Venkateswara, Saraswati, Murugan, Durga-Hanuman, Padmanabha—were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines; and not for absorbing “water and dirt from shoes” or for sweeping on for cleaning or for drying wet feet and grabbing “dirt, dust and grime”. 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, noted.
Rajan Zed also urged Amazon.com and its President Jeffrey P. Bezos to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing about 67 objectionable doormats.
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, Zed indicated.
Rajan Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu deities, temples and saint 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.
These doormats; some of which can be used as bath/floor mat or for “living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, hallway, etc.”; and some “can be easily cleaned by sweeping”; apparently sell from $14.49 to $25.74. Some of these clearly mention Lord Ganesh as God of Hindus on the website. Some carry the images of Hindu temples and worship place—Sun Temple Modhera, Akshardham Delhi, Angkor Wat, Bhuleshwar Temple, etc.—and Saint Ragavendra.
Amazon.com, Inc., a Fortune 500 company founded in 1994, and headquartered in Seattle (Washington, USA), claims to offer “Earth’s Biggest Selection”.