Chatsworth (Los Angeles, California) headquartered online retailer “Hipster’s Wonderland” removed socks from website carrying images of Hindu deity Lord Ganesha within few hours after upset Hindus complained calling these “highly inappropriate”.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who spearheaded the protest, in a statement in Nevada today, thanked Hipster’s Wonderland for understanding the concerns of Hindu community, which found images of Hindu deity Lord Ganesha on socks were highly disrespectful. But they were still waiting for a formal apology from Hipster’s Wonderland and its CEO, Zed indicated.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, suggested corporations to send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.
Rajan Zed had 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.
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, Zed had noted.
Rajan Zed had stated 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.