Upset Hindus are urging Chatsworth (Los Angeles, California) headquartered online retailer “Hipster’s Wonderland” for immediate withdrawal of socks 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 to adorn one’s legs/feet. 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 Hipster’s Wonderland and its CEO to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing Lord Ganesha socks from its website and stockists.
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 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.
Hipster’s Wonderland, whose tagline is “The ultimate wonderland for all fashion lovers” and whose self-description includes “let your soul look smart, chic and all spiced up”; sells clothing, home stuff and accessories. “Ganesha Socks” were priced at $23 on its website.
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.