Neiman Marcus removes $940 Lord Ganesha cufflinks 

Ganesha Cufflinks

Madhu Patel

CHICAGO: The Dallas headquartered luxury fashion retailer “Neiman Marcus” removed Hindu deity Ganesha shaped cufflinks, after a strong protest from a large section of India Americas here calling these “highly inappropriate”.

These $940 Made in USA “Ganesha Cufflinks” were absent from “Neiman Marcus” and “Bergdorf Goodman” websites when searched.

Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, thanked Neiman Marcus Group for understanding the concerns of Hindu community, which felt that such a product was insensitive. We were, however, still waiting for the formal apology from the Group; he added.

Lord Ganesha greatly revered in Hinduism is meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to secure the cuffs of dress shirts, misused as a fashion statement, thrown around loosely, etc.

 Neiman Marcus, which claims to be “an elevated retail experience for more than a century”; should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege and belittling sacred Hindu deity. It was deeply trivializing of immensely venerated Lord Ganesha to be flaunted like this; Zed had indicated.

Hinduism the oldest and third largest religion of the world has about 1.2 billion adherents with a rich philosophical thought. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled. Any insensitive handling of faith traditions sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols.

In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.

 Before removal, “sterling silver plated with rhodium” “Ganesha Cufflinks” were claimed to be “hand painted in a process that takes 7 hours”. Neiman Marcus Group, with history going back to 1907; conducts integrated store and online operations under the Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Last Call, and Horchow brand names.

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