Upset Hindus seek apology as Brooklyn’s Etsy sells Ganesh Flip Flops after removing Ganesh Toilet Seat

Upset Hindus seek apology as Brooklyn’s Etsy sells Ganesh Flip Flops after removing Ganesh Toilet Seat

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NEW YORK (TIP): Upset 
Hindus are urging Brooklyn (New York) headquartered e-commerce company 
Etsy, Inc. for immediate withdrawal of flip-flops carrying image of 
Hindu deity Lord Ganesh; calling it highly inappropriate.

In July last, Etsy withdrew toilet seat 
carrying image of Lord Ganesh from its website within less than two 
hours after a protest spearheaded by Hindu statesman Rajan Zed on this product, which Hindus thought was highly insensitive.

Zed, who is President of Universal 
Society of Hinduism said that Etsy should have been enlightened by now 
that Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be 
worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to adorn one’s feet. 
Hindus considered it a sacrilege to trample his image under one’s feet. 
Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other
 agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.

Rajan Zed also urged Etsy and its CEO Josh Silverman to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing Ganesh Flip Flops.

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, Zed 

Rajan Zed further said that such 
trivialization of Hindu deities was disturbing to the Hindus world over.
 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 followers, Zed added.

Is offering products like Ganesh Flip 
Flops really matches Etsy’s belief that “the power of business can 
create a better world”, its claim to “Keep Commerce Human” and its 
stated Mission “to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more 
fulfilling and lasting world”? Zed asks.

Rajan Zed suggested that Etsy and other 
companies should send their senior executives for training in religious 
and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the 
feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or 
launching advertising campaigns.

Item description of Ganesh Flip Flops 
states: “Traditionally, Ganesh is thought to provide prosperity, fortune
 and success. He is the Lord of Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles 
of both material & spiritual kinds… Stand out from the crowd in 
these cute flip flops!” It sells for $25.00.

Etsy, founded in 2005 in an apartment in Brooklyn and now headquartered in its Dumbo neighborhood with additional offices in FranceCanadaGermanyUnited Kingdom, Ireland, San Francisco (California),
 Hudson (New York); describes itself as “a global creative commerce 
platform”. It claims to have had annual gross merchandise sales of 
$3.25B in 2017.


In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is worshipped 
as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the 
beginning of any major undertaking. There are about three million Hindus
 in USA.


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