Upset Hindus are urging sock company MERGE4 based out of Santa Cruz (California) for immediate recalling of socks 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 or wrapped around one’s feet/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 MERGE4 and its founder-CEO Cindi Busenhart to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing Lord Ganesh socks from company’s online store, as well as from its other retailers/stockists in USA and abroad.
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.
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.
Award-winning MERGE4; a certified B Corporation with a tagline MERGE4 “GRIPS YOUR SOLE”; sells socks for men, women, youth. It claims: “Beyond magnificent in appearance, style and comfort, MERGE4 socks are constructed like no other”. It also states: “We’re not going to make any promises here with MERGE4 socks, but we’re pretty sure your feets will thank you”. The two objectionable Ganesh socks were priced at $20 and $11.