An Indian American activist Hindu group that urged Amazon for the immediate withdrawal of stockings carrying the image of Hindu deity Lord Ganesha, and flip-flops carrying the sacred Hindu symbol, Om, calling it highly inappropriate, has met with some success.
Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted in a press release that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was “meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to cover your feet and legs or touch with your feet and legs.”
In an email March 7, Amazon.com withdrew stockings carrying the image of Lord Ganesha from it website, Zed said.
Three stockings carrying images of Lord Ganesha, which were selling at Amazon.com from $9.69 to $16.30, do not show up anymore.
The Om flip-flops are priced at $34.97.
Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or symbols or concepts for commercial or other agenda is not okay as it hurt the faithful, Zed had said.
Zed also urged the online retailer and its president, Jeffrey P. Bezos, to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing the Lord Ganesha stockings and Om flip-flops, as this was not the first time that the company was offering such products which were deemed offensive by Hindu devotees, he said.
Hinduism is 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, he stated, adding that symbols of any faith, large or small, should not be mishandled.
Zed further said though Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech, but faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as the god of wisdom and the remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. Sacred Hindu symbol Om is used to introduce and conclude religious work.