May 12, 2023

Reno, Nev. (Aug. 12, 2018) — Upset Hindus are urging Saint Cloud (Minnesota) based company Babyshark for immediate withdrawal of door mat carrying image of Hindu deity Lord Shiva; calling it highly inappropriate.

Lord Shiva was highly revered in Hinduism and his images were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to dry wet feet, grab dirt, dust and grime, as described on Babyshark Co. website, said Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, based in Reno. Nev. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees, he said.

Zed also urged Babyshark Co. to offer a formal apology. Hinduism was 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, he said.

Trivialization of Hindu deities is disturbing to the Hindus world over, Zed said. Hindus are 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 followers, he said.

“OM SHIVA TRIANGLE ART DOOR MATS”, described as “ideal for all doorsteps” at Babyshark Co. website, was priced at $28.20. Babyshark Co. claims: “Our artwork is inspired by our love of pop art with a special attention to the trends of the moment.” It sells door mats, lunch bags, school bags, shower curtains, and toilet bags.

Lord Shiva, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, forms the great triad of Hindu deities. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

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