Hindus have urged world’s biggest retailer Amazon.com headquartered in Seattle (USA) for the immediate withdrawal of leggings, beds sheets, yoga mats, pants and shorts carrying images of various Hindu gods and goddesses and sold on its website, calling it inappropriate.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Hindu gods and goddesses were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be worn around one’s legs, crotch and hips; or to be slept on; or put your feet on while doing yoga. 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, also urged Amazon.com to offer a formal apology. 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, Rajan Zed pointed out.
Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu gods and goddesses 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.
Products that Hindu devotees are finding objectionable include various women’s leggings carrying images of Lord Ganesha (one even showing Ganesha idol from Belgaum Karnataka), goddess Lakshmi, wedding of Lord Rama with Sita, and multiple deities (apparently taken from a temple wall); bed sheets carrying images of Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna with Radha, Lord Shiva; yoga mats with images of Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha; harem pants, shorts, elastic waist pants, drawstring pants, yoga capris and sweatpants displaying images of Lord Ganesha. These products seem to represent various brands and come with different price tags.
Everything Store Amazon.com, Inc., a Fortune 500 company founded in 1994, claims to offer “Earth’s Biggest Selection” and “strives to be Earth’s most customer-centric company”. Jeffrey P. Bezos is President. There are about three million Hindus in USA.