Clifton (New Jersey) headquartered apparel label Customon has apologized and withdrawn thong and panty carrying image of Hindu deity Ganesh after Hindu protest; which called it “highly inappropriate”.
Sarah D. from Customon, in an email to Hindu statesman Rajan Zed (who spearheaded the protest), wrote: “We do apologize for such an inconvenience and thank you for your notification that allowed us to take action”… “the subject design belongs to a third party designer…the designer is going to get a warning”. The objectionable products were not found on the Customon website when searched today.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, thanked Customon and Sarah D. for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought images of Lord Ganesh on such products were highly insensitive.
Rajan Zed suggested that Customon 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.
Zed had said that Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to adorn one’s crotch. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
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 had noted.
Zed had stated that such trivialization of Hindu deities was disturbing for the Hindus. 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.
Objectionable Ganesh Thong and Ganesh Pantie for women were both priced at $18.64 each. Ganesh Thong’s “Product Info” stated that “you can be sexy with this well-formed under garments”. Customon, which claims to be “one of the leading custom t-shirt digital printing and embroidery services in the industry”, has another office in Eatontown (New Jersey). Its products include t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, sweatshirts, hats/caps, underwear, phone-cases, mugs, etc.