Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be worn around one’s legs, crotch and hips. 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, Sears and other companies that sell these pants to immediately withdraw these and urged Teeki 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 lightly. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed argued.
Zed further said 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.
Pants which Hindu devotees are finding objectionable include “Ganesha’s Dream Hot Pant” ($66), which is claimed as “breathable to reach the highest peaks”; and “Blue Ganesha’s Bell Bottoms” ($75), which is described as “Empower yourself to do anything in these”.
Teeki, a yoga-swim-active wear fashion company founded in 2008 “based on LOVE and sustainability”, claims to manufacture all its apparel in the USA and a “clothing that is fashion forward, functional and eco-conscious all in one”. Lindsay Hemric is said to be designer and founder. It reportedly has a warehouse in Vernon (California). It sells tops, bottoms, accessories and hot pants online and through various stores, including Amazon and Sears.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.