The Universal Society of Hinduism wants Mariposa Clothing to apologise for its Ganesh pants. Photo / Getty Images/Mariposa Clothing
A Golden Bay company has removed clothing items with images of Hindu deity Ganesh off its website after a complaint from the Universal Society of Hinduism.
Mariposa Clothing, based in Takaka, also apologised to anyone who felt offended by the items.
“Mariposa has removed the pants this morning,” Mariposa Clothing’s Tracey Brignole told the Herald this morning.
“It was certainly never our intention to cause any offence and we apologise to anyone who did take offence.”
Upset Hindus called on Mariposa Clothing to stop selling “Ganesh pants” and apologise to the community.
A statement issued by Hindu statesman and president of the Universal Society of Hinduism Rajan Zed in Nevada over the weekend called on the Kiwi clothing retailer to remove the offending garments from its physical stores and website.
“Clothing companies should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities,” Zed said, adding that the Hindu deity Lord Ganesh should not be “trivialised” in clothing items.
Zed said Lord Ganesh is “highly revered in Hinduism” and “meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to adorn one’s legs”.
“Inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees,” he added.
Mariposa Clothing is based in Golden Bay and has stores in Takaka and Nelson, as well as selling via its website.
The clothing company has removed all clothing items that featured Ganesh off its website, including hoodies, T-shirts and pants for kids, as well as women’s dresses.