Urban Outfitters Removes ‘Lotus Jewelry Stand’ After Protest

Urban Outfitters , a retail company headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., has removed a Hindu goddess jewelry stand from its Web site within about 12 hours after a group of Hindus protested, calling it inappropriate.

The “Lotus Jewelry Stand,” depicting the multi-armed Hindu goddess Lakshmi seated on a lotus, an “Online Exclusive” item which was described as “perfect for holding all of your rings + things,” did not show up after a search on the UO website Aug. 9, within 12 hours of Rajan Zed informing company officials via e-mail urging the withdrawal.

Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism and who spearheaded the protest, in an Aug. 9 statement thanked UO for understanding the concerns of the Hindu community. Zed, however, indicated that an official apology from UO and its CEO, Richard A. Hayne, to the upset Hindu community was still due, as it was their third incident trivializing a Hindu deity.

Urban Outfitters apologized to Hindus and removed its Lord Ganesh socks from stores and the Web after a protest spearheaded by Zed in December 2013, calling it inappropriate. It also removed its Lord Ganesha Duvet Cover from its Web site after another protest in July 2014.

In related news, Zed Aug. 6 criticized the distortion of goddess Kali’s image in Titan Comics, seeking the withdrawal of all the comics containing the image from stores and online. Titan Comics describing Kali on its Web site, said: “Kali, oldest and deadliest of these creatures, was thought defeated long, long ago; her body scattered throughout time to prevent her return.”

Zed stated that goddess Kali was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely in re-imagined versions for dramatic effect in comics.

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