I am sick and tired of people who use our religious symbols and pictures of our deities for commercial purposes, often inappropriately. Previously, Goddess Laxmi’s picture was used on a Bikini in Australia, which was withdrawn after protests. Someone used a picture of Goddess Kali in a night club in USA and even, Lord Ganesha was used for a sexual technique by a comedian in USA. Recently, Lord Ganesha was used in a satire in Australia, against which we ran a campaign. A Radio host in Sydney abused River Ganges for which we forced him to apologise last year.
If this was not enough, a brewery named, Burnside Brewery in Oregon, Portland, USA, used Goddess Kali in the promotion of its beer, calling it “Kali Ma” beer. The beer container even had the picture of Goddess Kali with 4 arms and severed heads of 3 men! It’s promotion used words like “Come worship the Black one, Kali, the ultimate reality of Brahma, this Tuesday”!
They have stopped this, only after, people protested against it vociferously. They will rename it shortly. They claimed to not know about the sentiments of the followers of Hinduism. How dumb were they? Did they expect that Hindus will “love” them for abusing our religion?
Goddess Kali, also called Ma Kali [Mother Kali] is a much revered deity of Hinduism and is worshipped by Hindus through India and overseas. I too worship “Ma Kali”.
Someone rightly asked whether any of such people would ever use the symbols/prophets of other religions in this manner.
On a separate but still relevant note, I also believe that India must ban the use of religious symbols, names or pictures of deities in any marketing material in India, where it is a common practice to use such symbols in anything from “Guthka” to Taxis!
Hindus are peace loving and tolerant people, but this does not mean they will tolerate such blatant and disrespectful use of pictures and symbols of deities of Hinduism.
Yadu Singh/Sydney/17th May, 2012