Upset Hindus are urging “Fils Unique”, which “handcrafts” cufflinks in New York City, 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.
Fashion accessories companies should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege and belittling sacred Hindu deities. 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 or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. He also urged “Fils Unique” to offer a formal apology; besides withdrawing $940 Ganesha cufflinks from its website and retailers, which include Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.
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 were painful for 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.
“Ganesha cufflinks” are claimed to be made with 925 Sterling Silver and are intricately hand-painted with enamel for a lasting finish.
“Fils Unique” sells cufflinks, key chains, stud sets, necklaces; and claims: We create curios and, hopefully, mild envy. It ships worldwide and states: "We create unique objects that enhance your style and spice up your outfit with a secret, delicious sauce!" Its Manifesto includes "buy less buy better".