Upset Hindus are urging Dallas headquartered luxury fashion retailer “Neiman Marcus” to immediately withdraw Hindu deity Ganesha shaped cufflinks, calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Lord Ganesha was greatly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to secure the cuffs of dress shirts, misused as a fashion statement, thrown around loosely, etc.
Neiman Marcus, which claims to be “an elevated retail experience for more than a century”; should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege and belittling sacred Hindu deity. It was deeply trivializing of immensely venerated Lord Ganesha to be flaunted like this; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated.
Rajan Zed emphasized that inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for mercantile greed or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. He also urged Neiman Marcus, its CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck and Board Chairman Paul Brown to offer a formal apology; besides withdrawing $940 “Ganesha Cufflinks” from Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores and websites.
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; Zed noted.
Rajan Zed further said 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 hurt the followers, Zed added.
Zed was of the view that insensitive handling of faith traditions sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.
Made in USA “Ganesha Cufflinks”, “sterling silver plated with rhodium”, are claimed to be “hand painted in a process that takes 7 hours”. Neiman Marcus Group, with history going back to 1907; conducts integrated store and online operations under the Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Last Call, and Horchow brand names.