Upset Hindus are urging London (United Kingdom) based “online ladies fashion store” AMiCAFOX for immediate withdrawal of fashion leggings carrying images of Hindu deity Lord Ganesha and sacred syllable Om; calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to adorn one’s legs. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged AMiCAFOX and its CEO to also offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing “Om Ganesha Leggings” from their own website and other resellers’ websites.
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 noted.
Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu deities and revered symbols 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.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. “Om” is the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.
Emily Jane Betteridge, who is also a model, started clothing brand AMiCAFOX (which undertakes worldwide shipping) with friend Bianca Navara in 2014. Its products include ladies fashion/fitness leggings and “figure-hugging” dresses. It claims: “You won’t find anything better to show off your curves with such confidence”, “our leggings will hug your curves and flatter your figure”, and “our Fitness Leggings are made from recycled plastic bottles”.
AMiCAFOX states that its Om Ganesha Print Leggings, priced at £30, were “inspired by the Hindu God Ganesha” and “are ideal wear for a night out, casual drinks or music festival”.