Upset Hindus are urging Hangzhou (China) headquartered Alibaba Group for immediate withdrawal from Alibaba.com of yoga mats carrying images of various Hindu deities; calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to sit on or put feet/buttocks/legs on or sweat on, as was the case of yoga mats being sold with their images. 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 Alibaba group to offer a formal apology.
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 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.
Alibaba Group, established in 1999, generated USD 17.8 billion of GMV in November 11 Global Shopping Festival. Its “mission” is “to make it easy to do business anywhere” and its “vision” includes “a company that lasts at least 102 years”. Jack Yun MA, a former English teacher from Hangzhou, is the Executive Chairman. It also has offices in Hong Kong, Taiwan, USA, United Kingdom, Italy and India.