Upset Hindus are urging Maui (Hawaii) based brand “Maui Woke” for immediate withdrawal of various shoes/boots carrying images of Hindu deity Lord 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 toadorn one’s feet for mercantile greed. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Maui Woke to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing Ganesha shoes/boots from its website and store.
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 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.
Maui Woke, whose tagline is “A State Of Mind”, claims to bring “exclusive items to inspire joy and balance in your life”. Besides other items, it sells 10 women’s shoes/boots named Ganesha on its website with prices ranging from $44.99 to $69.99, and carrying images of Lord Ganesha. These include varieties of Nonslip Canvas Shoes, High Top Shoes, Lace Up Canvas Boots, Ankle High Boots, Canvas Chukka Boots.
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.