Niyama Sol’s Ganesh is Fresh print is under fire.
Upset Hindus are urging Las Vegas-headquartered luxury activewear “Niyama Sol” for the immediate withdrawal of legging carrying images of Hindu deity Ganesh; calling the Ganesh leggings highly inappropriate.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement today, said that Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for adorning legs and thighs and wicking moisture. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged “Niyama Sol” and its CEO 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, Rajan Zed noted.
Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu deity 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.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. “Ganesh is Fresh” legging was priced at $158.
Niyama Sol, which describes itself as a “Luxurious lifestyle activewear made with love, from recycled plastic bottles”, and whose tagline is “From studio to street”; sells jewelry, bras, capris, dresses & jumpsuits, hats & beanies, joggers, leggings, long sleeves, men’s tops, patches, shorts, sweatshirts, swimwear, tanks, tees, towels, etc.
I admit that I own these leggings and love them. The design is beautiful but the cultural appropriation is apparent. I was made aware of this by Zed himself. I acknowledge my mistake and encourage others to be mindful of the prints they wear and the significance it holds for other cultures and beliefs.
What do you think about this? Do you think Niyama Sol is in the wrong? Let me know in the comments section.
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