Hindus are urging “world’s largest retailer” Walmart to immediately withdraw “Ganesh Plush Doll” from Walmart.com, 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 be thrown loosely around on the floor, bathrooms, cars, etc.; or hit by feet; or squeezed; or used as a pillow or play ball. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and Walmart Board Chairman Gregory B. Penner to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing “Ganesh Plush Doll” from the website.
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 pointed out that in Hinduism, Lord Ganesh had been worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and was invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking; but now Walmart said in product description that “now he’s also the god of cuddliness” because of their Ganesh Plush Doll (which Walmart listed as “Religious Novelty” and “Funny Gift”).
Moreover, it was saddening for the devotees to see Lord Ganesh reduced as a toy in the form of a plush doll under the mercy of the owner, while in reality the believers put the destinies of themselves in the hands of their deities; Rajan Zed indicated.
Zed also urged the withdrawal of two other inappropriate products involving Lord Ganesh and being sold at Walmart.com: “Shri Ganesha Belly Button Ring” and “Ganesha God Pendant” made of “buffalo bone”.
Walmart, headquartered in Bentonville (Arkansas), whose tagline is “Save money. Live better.”, claims to be a “worldwide household name” with about 11, 700 stores and whose fiscal year 2017 revenue was about $486 billion. Walmart.com claims to have over 1,000,000 products available online.