Upset Hindus are urging Takaka (Tasman, New Zealand) headquartered firm Mariposa Clothing for immediate withdrawal of pants carrying images of Hindu deity Lord Ganesh; calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) 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 sacred Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Mariposa Clothing and its CEO to offer a formal apology; besides withdrawing “fun and playful” Ganesh Pants from its warehouse/online-store and six stores in Nelson and Takaka.
Clothing companies should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply trivializing of immensely venerated Hindu deity Lord Ganesh to be displayed on pants, Rajan Zed emphasized.
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. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled; Zed noted.
Rajan 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.
Launched in 2005, Mariposa Clothing, whose tagline is “retail colour therapy”; sells clothing, footwear, gifts, jewelry, etc. Objectionable Ganesh Pants was priced at $15.