Upset Hindus are urging Durham (North Carolina) headquartered “world’s largest custom fabric, wallpaper and home decor digital marketplace” for immediate withdrawal of napkins carrying images of various Hindu deities; calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Hindu deities (Shiva, Krishna, Lakshmi, Ganesh, Murugan, Kali, Hanuman, etc.) were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for wiping mouth/fingers, catching crumbs/gravy (which may be beef), blowing nose, containing coughs/sneezes, throwing on dirty plate, covering lap, etc.; for mercantile greed. Inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Spoonflower CEO Michael Jones to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing the objectionable Hindu deities’ napkins from company’s and resellers’ websites.
“Global marketplace” like Spoonflower should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply trivializing of immensely venerated Hindu gods and goddesses like Shiva, Krishna, Lakshmi, Ganesh, Murugan, Kali, Hanuman, etc., to be displayed on napkins; Rajan Zed emphasized.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 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; Zed noted.
Rajan 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.
Spoonflower, reportedly established in 2008 and with offices in Durham and Berlin (Germany), claims to be “a global marketplace connecting makers and consumers with artists worldwide”.