Whitstable (Kent, England) based online sporting goods store, Water Polo Shop, withdrew the water polo swimsuit carrying the image of Hindu deity Lord Ganesh; after Hindus protested calling these “highly inappropriate”.
Pauline of Water Polo Shop, in an email to Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who spearheaded the protest, wrote: We have removed the sale of this product from our website.
Meanwhile, Bbosi, the sportswear company in Spain, which reportedly owned this design, also seems to have removed this and all other Ganesh products, as “Ganesh” search on its website yielded “No results”.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada today, thanked Water Polo Shop and Bbosi for understanding the concerns of Hindu community, which felt that such a product was insensitive.
Rajan Zed had said that Lord Ganesh was greatly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be tightly wrapped around your body as a fashion statement or facilitate your perspiration or catch your body fluids, etc. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for mercantile or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Sporting goods stores should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege and belittling sacred Hindu deity. It was deeply trivializing of immensely venerated Lord Ganesh to be flaunted like this, Zed had indicated.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 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 noted.
Zed had stated that 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 was painful to the followers.
Rajan Zed was of the view that insensitive handling of faith traditions sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.
Waterpoloshop claims to offer top brands and supplies water polo, swimming, diving, underwater hockey and underwater rugby related goods to both clubs and individuals worldwide. It also claims to specialize in custom designed swimsuits & apparel. Before removal, “Ganesh – Womens Water Polo Suit”, was priced at US$45.56 on its website.