Hindus are upset at the depiction of the image of Lord Ganesha on women’s water polo suit of a California company, which they termed inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that it was disturbing to see image of Lord Ganesha, who was highly revered in Hinduism, covering hips and crotch of a model in a water polo suit. Lord Ganesha was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for pushing swimwear for mercantile greed of an apparel company, Zed indicated.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged the manufacturer Hardcoresport to immediately recall and remove from various web-outlets all swimwear which showed Hindu Lord Ganesha, and its bosses Mia Andersen and Whitney Hentzen to publicly apologize. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one 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 stressed.
Zed further said that such trivialization of a Hindu deity 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 noted.
Rajan Zed suggested Hardcoresport and other corporations worldwide to send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when creating new products or launching advertising campaigns.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha 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 and moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.
Hardcoresport sells this chlorine resistant “Womens Water Polo Ganesha” with zip-up back and “Om” printed on it for $69.95 on its website.
Website of Hardcoresport, manufacturer of swim and activewear and headquartered in Whittier (California), claims: Our true, authentic, athlete driven, innovative, iconoclastic, and creative style differentiates us from the bland competitive swim industry and gives us reason to be.