Upset Hindus are urging multinational retail corporation Walmart to immediately withdraw ‘Ganesh Toe Ring’ from Walmart.com, calling it highly inappropriate.
Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to adorn one’s toe.
Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurts the devotees.
I also also urge Walmart Chief Executive Doug McMillon and Walmart Board Chairman Gregory B Penner to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing ‘Ganesh Toe Ring’ from the website, as this was not the first time for the company to offer such products which were deemed offensive by Hindu devotees.
Hinduism is 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.
I also urge the withdrawal of another inappropriate product involving Lord Ganesh and being sold at Walmart.com: ‘Shri Ganesha Belly Button Ring.’
God of Wisdom
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.
There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Hinduism ‘Ganesh Toe Ring,’ described as .925 Sterling Silver, was selling at Walmart.com for US$ 8.99; while ‘Shri Ganesha Belly Button Ring,’ at US$ 14.99, was available in Gold and Silver colours.
Walmart, headquartered in Bentonville (Arkansas), whose tagline is ‘Save Money. Live better,’ claims that nearly 270 million customers/members visit its 11,718 retail units in 28 countries and eCommerce websites weekly and its fiscal year 2018 revenue was US$ 500.3 billion. Walmart.com claims to have over one million products available online.
Dr Rajen Zed is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, based in Nevada, USA.