Upset Hindus are urging Guatemala City based athletic clothing company “Alma Active” for immediate withdrawal of leggings/pants carrying images of Hindu deity Lord Ganesha; calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Lord Ganesha 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 Alma Activewear and its CEO to also offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing Ganesha leggings/pants.
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.
Tagline of Alma Active, founded by Cristina Acevedo, is “Healthy Body = Healthy Mind and Soul = A Great Life Experience”. Its collection, involving “colorful prints inspired by Guatemalan textiles”, includes women’s bottoms, women’s tops, running accessories, men’s collection. The objectionable Ganesha Long Tights (described as “Love at first try” and Ganesha Cropped Tights (described as “flattering yoga pants”), were priced at Q479.00 and Q469.00 respectively.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.