NEW YORK – The Boston headquartered online home giant Wayfair has removed the “Birchwood Golden Ganesha Elephant Cutting Board” which was selling for $34.99, and has apologized within less than 24 hours after some Hindus protested, calling it “highly inappropriate.”
“We sincerely apologize that this item appeared on our site. Thank you again for bringing this to our attention,” Susan Frechette, Wayfair’s Associate Director of Corporate Communications, wrote today in an email to Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, who spearheaded the protest asking for withdrawal of this objectionable product.
Zed thanked Wayfair for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought that image of Lord Ganesha on a cutting board was trivializing and insensitive.
Zed also suggested that Wayfair and other companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they have an understanding of the feelings of their customers and ethnic communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.
Zed added in a statement that Lord Ganesha is highly revered in Hinduism and is meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines, not to “chop, dice and slice” meat, vegetables and cheese and that the inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda is not acceptable as it hurts the sentiments of the devotees.
Zed noted that Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion in the world with about 1.1 billion adherents with a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously; and thus, symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled in such ways.