Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) has a “Hindu” pizza on its menu containing “chicken tikka masala with yogurt, cilantro and mint”, which has upset the Hindus.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, termed it as a trivialization of the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Orlando (Florida) headquartered Hard Rock International ((HRI), whose tagline is “Love All, Serve All”; to immediately rename the “Hindu” pizza, and its Chairman Jim Allen to offer a formal apology.
Rajan Zed pointed out that Hindus were mostly vegetarian and selling a meat topped pizza in their name was highly inappropriate. No faith, larger or smaller, should be taken frivolously and mishandled for mercantile greed, Zed added.
Zed suggested that HRI and other companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.
“Hindu” pizza was available at the Pizzeto restaurant (in HRI’s largest property located in Punta Cana) which opens daily from 12pm to next day 7am and has a “Dress Code”.
HRI, whose history goes back to 1971, owns-operates restaurants, hotels, live performance venues and casinos globally and sells collectible fashion and music-related merchandise. It claims: “no one does hospitality like us” and it recently launched “Rock Om”; “an in-room yoga experience, energizing the body and soul through the power of music.” It delivers “Rock Om yoga kit” to each hotel room free of charge. Select HRI hotels also reportedly offer live, on-site yoga classes.