New York: Members of the Indian diaspora are urging Brooklyn headquartered Etsy for immediate withdrawal of “Kali Ma skirt”, carrying the image of Hindu deity Kali as they find it highly inappropriate.
Activist Rajan Zed, in a statement said that goddess Kali was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to adorn for mercantile greed. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Etsy and its CEO Josh Silverman to offer a formal apology; besides withdrawing Kali Ma skirt.
Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith should not be mishandled, Zed said.
In Hinduism, Goddess Kali, who personifies Shakti or divine energy, is considered the goddess of time and change. Some Bengali poets described her as a supreme deity. There are about three million Hindus in the USA. Objectionable “Kali Ma skirt” at Etsy, priced at $47, was claimed to be printed and sewn by hand in Montreal in Canada from a fabric made by a Montreal mill.