Upset Hindus are urging Wisconsin headquartered leading omnichannel retailer, Kohl's Department Stores, for immediate withdrawal of Throw Pillow carrying image of Hindu deity Ganesh; calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for tossing/throwing/scattering around on sofas/couches, chairs, beds, floors, etc., and sitting on it. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Kohl’s and its CEO Kevin Mansell to offer a formal apology.
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.
Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu deity 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, Zed added.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. There are about three million Hindus in USA. “Ganesh Throw Pillow” at Kohls.com was selling at $40.99-$59.99.
Kohl's, headquartered in Menomonee Falls and whose history goes back to 1962; claims to operate over 1,100 stores across 49 states along with the powerful e-commerce platform Kohls.com; and generate annual sales of approximately $19 billion. Its mission is to “inspire and empower families to lead fulfilled lives” and its values include "We put customers first".