VENTNOR CITY — A Ventnor City-based online clothier will be pulling products from its website after receiving pressure from people of the Hindu faith to discontinue the sale of leggings that depict the Hindu gods Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha.
Hindus urge New Jersey online retailer to withdraw Shiva and Ganesha leggings https://t.co/cKpQWLoi6V pic.twitter.com/I1vQeCFcSf
— Hindujagrutiorg (@hindujagrutiorg) May 14, 2017
Zayze Activewear, an activewear clothing company, is currently is selling leggings with images of the Hindu-deities.
Hindu worshippers believe that Lord Shiva is part of the Hindu triad and Lord Ganesha is known as the god of wisdom and remover of obstacles.
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“We plan to remove these designs from our site within the next 48 hours and do not plan to make any more of them,” a Zayze customer service representative said to NJ.com. “We never intended to offend anyone.”
Rajan Zed, who is President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, released a statement asking Zayze Activewear to pull the products from their website. Zed also wants the company and its CEO to apologize formally.
“Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha are highly revered in Hinduism and are meant to be worshiped in temples or home shrines and not to adorn your legs, crotch and hips,” said Zed in a statement. “Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda is not okay as it hurt the devotees.”
According to a 2014 Pew Research Center study, 3 percent of New Jersey adults said that Hinduism was their religion.
“Hindus are for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith is something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurts the followers,” Zed’s statement added.
Chris Franklin can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @cfranklinnews. Find NJ.com on Facebook.