Montreal (Canada) based production house “Art of Where” apologized and withdrew yoga-capris carrying images of Hindu deity Lord Ganesh after Hindus protested; calling it “highly inappropriate”.
Beverly of “Art of Where”, in emails to distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who spearheaded the protest, wrote: “…the product featuring Ganesh that you brought to our attention was removed from our artist stores…We hope that you can accept our apology”.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, thanked “Art of Where” for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought placing Lord Ganesh on such a product was insensitive.
Rajan Zed suggested that 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.
Zed had said that Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to adorn one’s legs for mercantile greed. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the 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 had noted.
Zed had stated that such trivialization of Hindu deities 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 Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.
“Art of Where” claims to create “high quality wearable garments and accessories printed with artwork” … “combining amazing quality products, local production, and versatile fulfillment services”. The products it sells include clothing, accessories, embroidery, home decor, books & stationery, materials; and claims to provide world-wide shipping. The concerned “Cosmic Ganesh Yoga” yoga-capris was priced at $55.