Upset Hindus are urging Heart Mala Sacred Jewellery, headquartered in Byron Bay (New South Wales), to immediately withdraw “Ganesha anklet” from its website and other outlets, calling it highly inappropriate.
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 adorn one’s ankles. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurts the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Heart Mala designer Haidee Turner to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing “Ganesha anklet” from the website, stores, festivals and markets in Australia.
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.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.
“Ganesha boho gemstone anklet”, priced at Heart Mala website for $45, “features a sterling silver plated Ganesha charm”, “looks especially gorgeous with sandy toes” and is claimed to be “ideal for those needing support in letting go of unhealthy emotional entanglements”.
Heart Mala Yoga/Sacred Jewellery; founded 2,000; sells in retail/wholesale mala beads, sacred geometry charms, boho chic and yoga and chakra jewellery, rings, earrings, anklets, bracelets, necklaces, etc.; “handmade in Byron Bay”, “infused with love” and “which harness the power of ancient knowledge & healing gemstones”. These “divine jewels” are claimed to “nurture your soul” and “inspired by the ancient mystics”.
According to 2016 Census, there were 440,300 Hindus in Australia. Hinduism, second fastest-growing religion in Australia, is its fourth largest. Anklet, reportedly worn by women in South Asia for over 8,000 years, is an ornament worn around the ankle.