Nordstrom withdraws Lord Ganesh swimwear after Hindus protest

American upscale fashion retailer Nordstrom has removed swimwear carrying image of Hindu Lord Ganesh from its website after Hindus protested, calling it inappropriate.

“Neiman Marcus”, “Mara Hoffman” and; who also carried “Mara Hoffman” swimwear with Lord Ganesh image; have already removed it from their respective websites.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who spearheaded this protest, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, thanked Nordstrom for understanding the concerns of Hindu community, which thought Lord Ganesh’s image on swimwear was inappropriate.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Bloomingdale’s and “Saks Fifth Avenue” and other retailers; who were still carrying “Mara Hoffman” Lord Ganesh image swimwear on their respective websites; to withdraw it. Zed asked “Mara Hoffman” to urge these companies to also recall this swimwear, one of which was priced for $275.

Rajan Zed suggested corporations to 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 creating new products or launching advertising campaigns.

Zed had earlier said that Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for pushing swimwear 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 one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed had argued.

Zed had also pointed out that such trivialization of Lord Ganesh 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.

Nordstrom, Inc. claims to be “a leading fashion specialty retailer offering compelling clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children”. Headquartered in Seattle (USA) and launched in 1901, Nordstrom has 260 stores in 35 states besides online sales serving 44 countries. Blake W. Nordstrom is the President. Mara Hoffman, who launched her first collection in 2000, is usually heavily focused on prints.

In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh 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 and moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.

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