Upset Hindus are urging Charlotte (North Carolina) based fitness-wear brand USFitGirls for immediate withdrawal of leggings carrying images of Hindu deity Lord Ganesh; calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, 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. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged USFitGirls and its CEO to also offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing Ganesh leggings.
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 noted.
Zed further said 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.
USFitGirls, which claims to produce every Monday “new leggings, tanktops and t-shirts”, states to create “unique quality fitness wear, that will motivate our customers to workout in style”. The objectionable Ganesh Leggings and Ganesh Yoga Leggings were priced at $87 and $92.99 respectively. “Product details” of Ganesh Leggings include “You can feel 100% safe when you squat”, “Compliment your legs and flattens out any unwanted rolls”, etc.
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.