Papa John’s, pizza delivery company headquartered in Louisville (Kentucky), is reportedly “in the process of removing” its Papadias TV Commercial ‘Yoga’ after Hindu protest saying it trivializes Hinduism.
On March 26, PizzaMarketplace.com published an email content, stated to be received from a Papa John’s spokeswoman, saying: “We are in the process of removing this commercial from rotation, which will take full effect over the next week”.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who raised this issue, in a statement in Nevada today, thanked Papa John’s for understanding the concerns of Hindu community, which thought that it was highly inappropriate to trivialize the greatly revered Hindu concepts/symbols Om and Yoga in a pizza commercial.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, however, pointed out that they were still waiting for a formal apology from Papa John’s CEO Robert Lynch to the Hindu community.
Rajan Zed suggested that Papa John’s 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.
Moreover, this commercial associated sacred Hindu concepts/symbols with beef-laced pizza, which was hurtful to the devotees who considered cow as holy (three of the four varieties of its recently launched Papadias reportedly contained beef); Zed had pointed out.
Rajan Zed had further said that inappropriate usage of Hindu concepts or symbols or icons or deities for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. Pizza delivery companies should not be in the business of mocking serious religious concepts.
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; Zed had stated.
Rajan Zed had indicated: In Hinduism, “Om”, the mystical sacred syllable containing the universe, is used to introduce and conclude religious work. Usually considered the most powerful mantra, Om has been equated with brahman, isvara, atman, etc.
Zed had noted: Yoga is considered union with God, one of the six systems of Hindu philosophy, and mean for transforming consciousness and purification of the Self and attaining liberation.
Founded in 1983, awards-winning Papa John’s International Inc. which claims itself as “world’s third-largest pizza delivery company” with over 5,000 restaurants, describes recently introduced Papadias as “Part pizza, part sandwich” and “Portable Deliciousness”.