‘Om’ on thongs invite Hindu ire
PTI | Feb 7, 2005, 02.41 PM IST
Original URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Om-on-thongs-invite-Hindu-ire/articleshow/1013700.cms
WASHINGTON: An American online store selling womens’ undergarments featuring images of Hindu Gods and religious icons has angered members of the community who have demanded their immediate withdrawal from the website.
In an ad for womens’ thongs, Cafe-Press.com has on display hundred per cent cotton ‘Hindu God Shiva classic thong’ priced at USD 12.99 with the religious deity’s face, another called ‘iGod Shiva Classic thong’ for USD 15 makes a statement “Namaste it loud. Your’re Hindu and you’re proud.”
The ‘Om Classic Thong’ priced at USD 8.99 explains “Om or rather aum is a sacred Hindu symbol that represents the absolute.”
Leading the protest for the products withdrawal is the American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD), the largest Hindu anti-defamation group in North America comprising several Hindu organisations.
“We have recently come across two sets of products -thongs and boxer shorts with the images of Hindu deities and symbols imprinted on them…AHAD finds the depiction of universally revered Hindu deities and symbols on the undergarments extremely offensive,” it said in a statement.
Sikh organisations under the World Sikh Council America Region (WSC-AR) had objected to the display of the thongs and had written to CafePress asking it to withdraw the offensive garment.
“We are very disappointed to know that CafePress is selling an item offensive to the Sikh faith..the underwear with the Sikh symbol and the accompanying language is racist and demeans the Sikh faith. This is especially hurtful because the Sikh community has been prefentially victimised after 9/11,” the WSC-AR complaint said.
The protests had borne fruit with CafePress withdrawing the product line from its site.
There have also been instances of western companies imprinting images of Lord Ganesha and Aum on the sole of flip flop sandals, God Rama’s image on sniff tissues and lunch boxes with images of goddess Kali and Durga.