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Indians burn Australian flag in protest against swimsuit bearing Hindu goddess

Indians burn Australian flag in protest against swimsuit bearing Hindu goddess


Mangalore Today News Network

Australia, May 10: A fashion show has sparked a huge row after models wearing skimpy bikinis plastered with images of a Hindu goddess have enraged the religion who worship her.


Australian swimwear label Lisa Blue sent its models down the catwalk at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week in Sydney last week, sporting bright swimsuits which had pictures of revered Lakshmi on them.


But when news of the show reached India Hindus - who consider her to be the goddess of wealth, prosperity and fertility - were incensed at the deity’s image being used in such a sexy way.



Over the weekend, demonstrators in Amritsar, in Punjab, took to the streets and burned the Australian flag in protest, waving photographs of the offensive swimsuit and demanding that all of the garments be recalled.


The label, whose headquarters are in Byron Bay, Australia, have since apologised and promised the creations will never be available for sale.


 

Over the weekend, demonstrators in Amritsar, in Punjab, took to the streets and burned the Australian flag in protest, waving photographs of the offensive swimsuit and demanding that all of the garments be recalled.


The label, whose headquarters are in Byron Bay, Australia, have since apologised and promised the creations will never be available for sale.


Australia’s Daily Telegraph reported that in a statement Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said that the apology was ’a step in the right direction’.


Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda is not okay as it hurt Hindus. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Zed added.



The North India Times reported that he said that it was disturbing to see goddess Lakshmi, who was highly revered in Hinduism, on a swimwear displayed by a model at a fashion show.


He argued she was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for pushing swimwear in fashion shows for mercantile greed of an apparel company,


Lisa Blue released the following response on Facebook: ’We would like to offer an apology to anyone we may have offended and advise that the image of Goddess Lakshmi will not appear on any piece of Lisa Blue swimwear for the new season, with a halt put on all production of the new range and pieces shown on the runway from last week removed.


’This range will never be available for sale in any stockists or retail outlets anywhere in the world. We apologise to the Hindu community and take this matter very seriously.


’Lisa Blue has been born out of a love of conservation, spirituality and a respect for all people. At no time would we ever have intended that the brand would cause offence.


’The use of images of Goddess Lakshmi was not in any way a measure of calculated risk taking, simply it was a desire to celebrate different cultures and share that through our brand.’


Lisa Blue’s website says the company was founded after a ’touching’ moment the founder, Lisa Burke, had when she swam with humpback whales.


Her website says; ’The baby (whale) came so close to me as though to touch me that I backed up.


’The eyes, only a foot away, looked straight into my soul. My heart burst open. In that moment I promised that I would do what I could to help protect them and their environment.’


She says that inspiration struck when ’sitting out on my board in the ocean I pondered– “Surfing, fashion, whales, dolphins, swimwear, modeling…” - hence began my plan to create a swimwear label that could help protect the whales and the dolphins.’

The Goddess Lakshmi

Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm.


She is one of the most popular goddesses of Hindu mythology and is known as the goddess of wealth and purity.


Lakshmi is commonly portrayed as a beautiful woman with four arms, standing on a lotus flower. There is usually one, or sometimes two elephants behind her, anointing her with water. She is often depicted sitting beneath the god Vishnu, massaging his feet.


Hindus Lakshmi bestows good fortune and success upon those who work hard and seek help sincerely.


It is said that Lakshmi resides in places of hard work, virtue and bravery, but leaves whenever these qualities are not apparent any more.


Hindus worship Lakshmi the most on Diwali, the festival of lights. According to tradition, people would put small oil lamps outside their homes on Diwali and hope Lakshmi will come to bless them.


Additionally two days before Diwali, a festival called Dhantares is celebrated to seek more blessings from her. During this time Hindus buy gold and silver and start new business ventures.


Hindus worship Lakshmi at home as well as in the temple. Friday is believed to be the most auspicious day for her worship.


Swimwear Firm Apologises For Carrying Lakshmi Images On Bikini

Melbourne, May 9 :  An Australian swimwear label company, which triggered a controversy by depicting an image of Goddess Lakshmi on a bikini bottom and front of a model, has apologised to the Hindu community for hurting their sentiments.


"We would like to offer an apology to anyone we may have offended and advise that the image of Goddess Lakshmi will not appear on any piece of Lisa Blue swimwear for the new season, with a halt put on all production of the new range and pieces shown on the runway removed," said a statement issued by the Lisa Blue Swimwear.


The swimwear company carried an image of Goddess Lakshmi on a bikini bottom and front of a model who walked the ramp at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week in Sydney last week.


"This range will never be available for sale in any stockists or retail outlets anywhere in the world. We apologize to the Hindu community and take this matter very seriously," the statement said.


The apology came after Indian community strongly protested the depiction of Goddess images on swimwear, saying it has hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindu community.


Earlier, Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, asked the manufacturer to publicly apologize and immediately recall all swimwear which showed Hindu Goddess. PTI


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