Upset Hindus have urged global e-commerce company Spreadshirt for the immediate withdrawal of underwears carrying the images of various Hindu deities and sold on its website, calling it highly inappropriate.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that it was dismaying to visualize that Spreadshirt, for its mercantile greed, was selling underwears carrying images of gods which Hindus worshipped, despite its claim “We do not print things that are bound to offend people, e.g…. content designed to insult… religious and ethnic groups”.
Images of Hindu deities depicted on the underwears sold at Spreadshirt website— Ganesha, Shiva, Durga—were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines; and not for displaying on underwears. “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism was used to introduce and conclude religious work, also appeared on the underwear. 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, noted.
Rajan Zed also urged Spreadshirt and its CEO Philip Rooke to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing all the objectionable underwears.
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 indicated.
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.
Zed termed it as highly “irresponsible” approach of Spreadshirt which made tall claims of “responsibility” on its website.
Founded in 2002, Leipzig (Germany) headquartered Spreadshirt; with branch offices in Boston, Pennsylvania and Berlin, and production sites in Germany, USA, Poland and Czech Republic; boasts of “Responsibility to Our Fellow Human Beings. “An innovative global e-commerce platform”, Spreadshirt claims to be active in 18 markets and available in 12 languages. In 2015, it stated to hit global revenue of approximately $105 million, produced over 3.6 million items, and shipped to 180 countries.