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Hindus demand apology from US e-commerce firm Etsy for using Lord Ganesha image on toilet seat

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After it was reported that e-commerce company etsy.com was selling toilet seat with the image of Hindu god Ganesha, Hindus in US demanded that the firm pull down such products. Rajan Zed, Prez of Universal Society of Hinduism said that Ganesha is worshipped by millions worldwide and as such, it is an insult to put the god’s image on toilet seat. Amazon was recently caught selling flip-flops with Gandhiji’s image.

“Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to adorn a toilet. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees,” said distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed.

Zed also urged Etsy and its CEO Josh Silverman to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing “Ganesha Toilet Seat”.

Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu deities 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, Rajan Zed noted.

Zed suggested that Etsy and other companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.

Etsy official website selling Toilet Seat described as “bathroom Ganesha” holding“ a comb, mirror, toothbrush and toothpaste” and his vahana rat is replaced by a “rat tail comb”. “Perfect gift for a birthday, graduation or wedding!” it adds. It was selling for $85 at Etsy.com.

Etsy; founded in 2005 in an apartment in Brooklyn and now headquartered in its Dumbo neighborhood with additional offices in France, Japan, Australia, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, San Francisco (California), Hudson (New York). It claims to have had annual gross merchandise sales of $2.84B in 2016.

Earlier, Amazon has pulled from sale, the Gandhi flip-flops which had caused a lot of outrage on Twitter. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had taken on Amazon for selling products insulting India. She was outraged over a door mat with the Indian flag on it. Economic secretary Shaktikanta Das had also warned Amazon about insulting Indian sentiments.

Courtesy: NewsBharati

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