March 25, 2015 (Chaitra Shukla Paksha Saptami, Kaliyug Varsha 5116)
Protest against the denigration of the Hindu Deities through the online sale of clothing and other products on the website http://www.etsy.com.
On January 12th, 2015 concerned Hindus notified Forum for Hindu Awakening (FHA) regarding the denigration of the revered Hindu Deities Shri Ganesh, Hanuman and Shrikrushna happening through sale of clothes and other products such as artworks, crochets, dolls, pendants and calendars on shopping portal http://www.etsy.com.
Upon reviewing the web pages, the FHA protest team wrote a protest letter addressed to the Customer Support team of etsy.com. The letter explained the denigration that is happening and some of items related to the Hindu Deities up for online sale are not in accordance with the shaastra (spiritual science as per the scriptures) and trivialize them. In addition to this, the protest letter also described specific sale items as examples of those that are not in accordance with the Hindu shaastra to support above the point; but there has been no response from the management of etsy.com
Please see below some of the links where Hindu deities’ images have been used (The protest letter explaining the denigration is published towards the end of this page.) –
Images Source: www.etsy.com
Consequently, Forum for Hindu Awakening (FHA) now appeals all readers to protest against this denigration of the revered Hindu Deities including Shrikrushna, peacefully and lawfully by either writing an email or calling the number below requesting them to stop this denigration:
Etsy.com has offices in various countries as mentioned on this website – https://www.etsy.com/press
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
See below the protest letters written by Forum for Hindu Awakening
From: Hindu Awakening <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 4:47 PM
Subject: Complaints regarding your products
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
|| Shree ||
We at Forum for Hindu Awakening have received several complaints from devout Hindus regarding the sale of various items such as T-shirts, pants, artworks, crochets, dolls, pendants and calendars with Hindu Deities on your shopping portal http://www.etsy.com.
Forum for Hindu Awakening is a nonprofit organization that strives to awaken society to the unique spiritual science behind Hindu Dharma concepts and practices, to motivate people to live and preserve them, and to facilitate the spiritual progress of humanity. One of the ways we do this is by addressing misrepresentations of Hinduism. For further details please refer to our website http://forumforhinduawakening.org/.
We are sending this letter to inform you about the sale of various products having images of revered Hindu Deities including Shrikrushna on your website. We commend you for promoting useful information about various Hindu Deities including Shrikrushna on your website. Such information will be definitely useful for devotees of Shrikrushna. However, we would like to bring to your attention that some of items of Hindu Deities up for online sale are not in accordance with the shaastra (spiritual science as per the scriptures). Some items actually denigrate the Hindu Deities including Shrikrushna, which defeats the purpose of spreading information about them. Following are few examples:
1. In few of the t-shirts, tank tops print designs listed, Shrikrushna referred as the god of love, sex and yoga is depicted in an obscene position with Radha which is misrepresentation of Hinduism and objectionable to Hindus and in addition, hurts their religious sentiments. In other sale items, Shrikrushna is shown in a cowboy’s attire which is not in accordance with Hindu Shaastra and amounts to trivialization of Shrikrushna who is revered by millions of Hindus all over the world.
Links are as follows:
2. In some of the garments, the Hindu Deities are ridiculed such as Shriganesh playing a musical instrument, Shri Hanuman is shown in superman costume posing as a hero and Lord Shiva’s Sadhu is shown puffing a chillum. This is also not in accordance with shaastra and is actually a denigration of Shri Hanuman, Shriganesh as well as Lord Shiva.
3. In some online listings of pants, Shrikrushna is printed on the waistband and ankle band accents which is trivialization of Shrikrushna and hurts the sentiments of the Hindus showing Shrikrushna in a demeaning way.
4. In few of the artwork paintings, Shrikrushna is shown in various forms including ‘Hello Kitty’, and as a collage which are not in accordance with the shaastra and a denigration of Shrikrushna.
5. Some listings include various Hindu Deities are depicted in the form of dolls such as Shriganesh, Shri Durga, Lord Shiv, Shri Hanuman, Shrilakshmi and Shrikrushna. These dolls are shown with contorted anatomy. It is like making a cartoon or caricature of these Hindu Deities, which leads to denigration.
6. In addition, some of the listings include calendars, pendants, rosaries, and candles characterizing Shrikrushna as a pop singer and in kitty form trivializes and leads to denigration of Shrikrushna.
Your website has provided a creative platform for various artists to celebrate their freedom of expression through unique products that showcase their talent. However, when selling Hindu Deities in various forms, it is important for the artist to consider the description of the Deity and ideally, do it as sadhana (spiritual practice), since the Deities are adorned on an altar to worship and offer prayers. Showing them in an artistic manner trivializes them. In the minds of the buyer, a fictional, trivial image of the Deities will form over a period of time and hence, it will obstruct the development of their faith in the Deities, which is most important in worshiping Deities and experiencing their divine presence and blessings.
We urge you to consider the above points and remove the various denigrating items listed above which are not in accordance with the Hindu shaastra from your website. We stress that our aim in bringing up these points is to educate and ensure that Hindu Deities and Hinduism gets accurately represented to society. Hinduism has been misrepresented at many levels. Though it is an ancient tradition, Hinduism has a lot to offer the modern world and we want children and adults alike to be able to understand and study it without it being misrepresented. You can take one step towards ensuring that Hindu Deities and Hinduism does not get disrespected by removing the denigrating listings from your website and also stop selling spiritually incorrect images of Hindu Deities as mentioned above.
Awaiting your prompt action and reply.
Forum for Hindu Awakening