NEW YORK – The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, has a “Hindu” pizza on its menu containing “chicken tikka masala with yogurt, cilantro and mint,” and this has upset some Hindus.
In a statement, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, termed it as a trivialization of the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought.
Zed urged the Orlando, Florida headquartered Hard Rock International (HRI) to immediately rename the “Hindu” pizza and asked its Chairman Jim Allen to offer a formal apology, pointing out that Hindus are mostly vegetarian and selling a meat topped pizza in their name was highly inappropriate.
“No faith, larger or smaller, should be taken frivolously and mishandled for mercantile greed,” Zed said, suggesting that HRI 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.
The “Hindu” pizza was available at the Pizzeto restaurant in Punta Cana, HRI’s largest property.
The company’s whose tagline is “Love All, Serve All,” claims that “no one does hospitality like us” and has also recently launched “Rock Om” which is “an in-room yoga experience, energizing the body and soul through the power of music,” delivering “Rock Om yoga kit” to each hotel room free of charge, according to a press release.
Live, on-site yoga classes are reportedly offered at select HRI hotels.