World's largest online retailer Amazon.com withdrew stockings carrying image of Hindu deity Lord Ganesha from its website within two days after upset Hindus protested, calling it “highly inappropriate”.
Three stockings carrying images of Lord Ganesha, which were selling at Amazon.com from $9.69 to $16.30, do not show up anymore.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who spearheaded the protest urging for immediate withdrawal of these objectionable products, in a statement in Nevada today, thanked Amazon.com for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought image of Lord Ganesha on such a product was highly insensitive.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, however, pointed out that a formal apology from Amazon.com President Jeffrey P. Bezos to the upset Hindu community was still due, as this was not the first time for the company to offer such products which were deemed offensive by Hindu devotees.
Rajan Zed suggested that Amazon.com and other companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.
Zed had said 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. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or symbols or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the faithful.
Hinduism was 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. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed had indicated.
Zed had stated that such trivialization of Lord Ganesha 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.
Hindus have protested and contacted Amazon.com many times in the past over what they felt was trivialization of Hindu deities on various products sold on its website and had been mostly successful in persuading the company to remove those.
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.
Amazon.com, Inc., a Fortune 500 company founded in 1994, and headquartered in Seattle, claims to offer earth’s biggest selection.