Upset Hindus are urging Sears Holdings Corporation (SHC) for immediate withdrawal of bath mats, skateboards and bedcover 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 put your feet on or sleep 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 SHC Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward S. Lampert 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.
“Ganapati Hindu God Ganesha Bath Mat” sells at Sears.com for $50.93 or $38.99, while “Lord Ganesh Bedcover” is available for $14.58.
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.
Award-winning SHC, headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and whose history dates back to 1886; claims to be “a leading integrated retailer focused on seamlessly connecting the digital and physical shopping experiences to serve our members”. The Company operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation, with full-line and specialty retail stores across the United States.