Upset Hindus are urging Denver (Colorado) headquartered company Mika Yoga Wear for immediate withdrawal of yoga mats carrying image of Hindu deity Ganesha; calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to sit on or put feet/buttocks/legs on or sweat on. 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 Mika Yoga Wear Founder & Creative Director Laura Costa 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 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 added.
Mika Yoga Wear; which sells tops, shorts, pants+legging, capris, swimwear, bodysuits, mats, leg warmers, jewelry, etc.; “aims to produce…flattering clothing for women all over the world.” It also reportedly runs a production center in Brazil and a factory in Peru. Its Ganesha mat, which is priced at $64, is “Designed to Grip Better with Sweat”.