California company removes objectionable skateboards with images of Hindu deities

Redwood City (California, USA) based firm Zazzle has reportedly withdrawn from its website skateboards and pet/dog clothing carrying the images of Hindu deities which upset Hindus had called inappropriate and asked for their immediate withdrawal.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, has thanked Zazzle for immediate action and for listening to the sentiments of about one billion strong worldwide Hindu community.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement on this issue on June 21, had said that Hindu deities were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be pushed around or rode on with one’s feet on the top or doing kick flips in the street as in some of Zazzle skateboards.

Rajan Zed had argued that these deities were highly revered in Hinduism and inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts 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 one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Zed had stressed.

Meanwhile Bhavna Shinde of Forum for Hindu Awakening, in a communiqué to Zazzle on June 21, said: “We are requesting you to immediately withdraw, recall and remove from your website some of your products, which are highly denigrating to Hinduism and hurting the religious sentiments of the Hindu community…”

Some of the products shown on Zazzle website on June 21 many Hindu devotees would find inappropriate included skateboards carrying images of Hindu deities Shiva, Ganesha, Kali, Vishnu, Gayatri, Krishna, and Mahakali; pet/dog clothing showing images of Hindu deities Durga, Vishnu, Hanuman, Nataraja, Ganesha, Krishna, and Shiva; etc.; and these were reportedly no longer seen on the website today.

Launched in 2005, Zazzle describes itself as: “…world's leading platform for quality custom products. Zazzle's proprietary technology enables individuals, professional artists, and major brands, including Disney and Hallmark, to create and offer billions of unique products for customers worldwide…Zazzle's vision is to redefine commerce, powered by the world's imagination”. Robert Beaver is the CEO.