South Dakota firm urged to withdraw Lord Ganesha cufflinks


Surendra Ullal

CHICAGO: Upset Indian Americans have urged  “The World’s Largest Retailer of Cufflinks”, named “Cufflinks” and located in Sioux Falls (South Dakota), to immediately withdraw Hindu deity Ganesha shaped cufflinks, calling it highly inappropriate.

Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that Lord Ganesha was greatly revered in Hinduism and was 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.

“CuffLinks”; which claims to partner with Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Hudsons Bay, shop Disney, Star Wars, Marvel; should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege and belittling sacred Hindu deities. It was deeply trivializing of immensely venerated Lord Ganesha to be flaunted like this; he maintained.

Hinduism was 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, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled; Zed noted.

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

Made in USA, “Ganesha Cufflinks” are claimed to be made with 925 Sterling Silver and intricately hand-painted with enamel. “CuffLinks”, established in 1999, defines itself as “The men’s accessories marketplace” and “Details For The Well Dressed Man”.