Upset Hindus are urging San Diego area (California) based online home décor company “KESS InHouse” for immediate withdrawal of dog beds and some other products carrying image of Hindu deity Lord Ganesha; calling it highly inappropriate.
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 place your dog/dogs/animals on it or to sleep on it or put/wipe your feet on or wear it on your legs or sit/walk on it. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the faithful.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that it was shocking for the devotees to see on company’s website the pictures of Ganesha Dog Bed depicting dogs sitting on Lord Ganesha’s head, Ganesha Dog Mat showing a dog’s feet on Lord Ganesha’s head, “eye-catching” Ganesha Leggings with Lord Ganesha’s image on both the legs, Ganesha Yoga Mat displaying a woman in a yoga pose sitting on part of Lord Ganesha image. As mentioned on company’s website, the Ganesha Dog Bed is claimed to be “their favorite place to lay”, Ganesha Dog Mat is stated to soak up dirt, and Ganesha Yoga Mat “will cushion your body”.
Rajan Zed also urged “KESS InHouse” to offer a formal apology besides withdrawing its products showing Lord Ganesha images—dog bed, dog mat, doormat, duvet cover, throw blanket, bathmat, leggings, yoga mat, bed runner, area rug—from its website and from its various other partner online retailers.
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, Zed noted.
Rajan 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.
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.
“KESS InHouse”, whose tagline includes “Home decor with style”, sells various bed & bath, kitchen & dining, wall art, pet products, lifestyle & travel—products; and claims to transform and encourage “to step outside of the average decorating boundaries and add art to the home”. “We pride ourselves on the quality and integrity of our company and home decor line”, a web announcement states. It claims to have partnerships with various online retailers: Amazon, Bonanza, Dot and Bo, Hayneedle, Houzz, Target, Touch of Modern, Overstock and Wayfair.