Upset Hindus are urging luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton to immediately withdraw its recently launched yoga mat made from cowhide leather, calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that this Louis Vuitton yoga mat seemed ridiculing and offending two serious concepts of Hinduism—cow and yoga—and was hugely insensitive to Hindu feelings.
Scenario of yoga (profound, sacred and ancient discipline; introduced and nourished by Hinduism) being performed on a mat made from a killed cow (the seat of many deities, which was sacred and had long been venerated in Hinduism) was painful to Hindu sentiments; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated.
Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), whose “Code of Conduct” included “Acting Responsibly and with Social Awareness”; should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, mocking serious spiritual practices and ridiculing entire communities; Rajan Zed noted.
Zed also urged LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault; Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke and Louis Vuitton Executive Vice President Delphine Arnault to offer a formal apology and be serious about the LVMH vision of “ethical responsibility”.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Practices/concepts/traditions of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be ridiculed at; Rajan Zed stated.
Yoga, which found reference in world’s oldest extant scripture Rig-Veda and other early Hindu texts, 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. It involved withdrawal and its objective was the state of blissful liberation, Zed pointed out.
Description of this beige mat (priced at $2,390 and made with cowhide leather) at the company website claimed: “Meditative stretching takes on a sleek bent with the Louis Vuitton yoga mat”.
Louis Vuitton, is one of the 75 “houses” of LVMH headquartered in Paris, “a family-run group” which claims “world leader in high-quality products” whose reported sales in 2019 were €53.7 billion. LVMH, whose history goes back to 1593, also claims to be the only group present in all five major sectors of the luxury market: Wines & Spirits, Fashion & Leather Goods, Perfumes & Cosmetics, Watches & Jewelry and Selective Retailing.