CHICAGO (Dec. 2, 2011) — “Threadless Tees” appears to have removed the Lord Ganesha T-shirt designs earlier displayed on its website, which upset Hindus had called “inappropriate” asking for immediate removal.
Search for “Ganesha” at www.threadless.com today returned with: “Well darn, there aren’t any products that match what you are looking for :(.”
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who spearheaded the protest, has welcomed the removal, terming it as “a step in the right direction.”
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that such trivialization of Lord Ganesha was disturbing and offensive to the one billion Hindus world over and thanked Threadless for respecting their feelings. 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 devotees, Zed added.
Hindus found the following objectionable: “Nerdy Lord Ganesha” (a nerdy take on Ganesha where he holds a tobacco pipe, glass of wine, etc.), Ganesha shown as “Ping Pong God”, “Ganesha alien” and “Ganeshamadonna” (Ganesha and Mother Mary merged together in one figure).
Rajan Zed, in a statement in New Delhi (India) today, said that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely in reimagined versions for dramatic effects for mercantile greed. Such absurd depiction of Lord Ganesha with no scriptural backing was hurtful to 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 argued.
Founded in 2000, “Threadless Tees”, whose tagline is “Nude No More”, is a community-centered online apparel company of skinnyCorp which also has a store in Chicago and branch office in Boulder (Colorado, USA). Also referred as “World’s Most Inspiring Online Design Community”, it claims over one million members. Jake Nickell is founder and CSO, while Thomas Ryan is CEO.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.