Press Release: Hindus Enraged at Kohler Company for Image of Lord Nataraja as Scantly Clad Woman Hawking Shower Fixture

America Hindus Against Defamation Letter to Kohler

Hindus Enraged at Kohler Company for Image of Lord Nataraja as Scantly Clad Woman Hawking Shower Fixture

American Hindus Against Defamation
Contact : ahad@hindunet.org

Representing several prominent Hindu organizations in N. America

Public Relations Officer
Kohler Company

Dear PR Officer,

I would like to write to you as the Convenor of American Hindus Against Defamation, a coalition of prominent Hindu organizations in USA devoted to the awareness of proper use of Hindu symbols, icons etc.

On October 13, 2002, your company published an advertisement in the New York Times depicting a disorted image of Lord Shiva in his Nataraja form. The dancing pose, multiple hands, the hand gestures, the metaphor of water from shower too, resembles the flow of river Ganga (Ganges) usually depicted as flowing through Lord Shiva. You are welcome to visit our site:

http://www.hindunet.org/ahad/kohler/

to see how your advertisement is not an original work of art, but abuse of a deity worshipped by the Hindus.

The tag line for the advertisement “There is a Goddess”, clearly indicates that the advertisement is no coincidence – it is an unequivocal indication that the image of Lord Shiva was distorted and adopted for the advertisement purpose.

AHAD is disgusted by the abuse of the image of Lord Shiva in such a derogatory manner. Just as the scantly clad image of Christ in shower selling shower fixtures would be offensive and evoke strong resentment in the Christian community, this advertisement image has enraged the Hindu community. Hindu deities are worshipped, they are not exotic images to be distorted, mutilated and abused.

We would like to inform you that Lord Shiva is revered by Hindus around the world – major Shiva temples are found in India, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, UK, USA and many other countries – and these countries, Kohler has significant commercial interest.

I am not certain if you realize that this has already caused tremendous hurt in the community and we have been requested by several people to take this issue up with you. For past three days, we have made numerous attempts to contact you, however, you have not returned our phone calls. Your non-responsiveness has only reinforced our belief that you are insensitive to the sentiments of a billion strong global Hindu community.

We demand that the Kohler Company immediately withdraw all the advertisements with images of Hindu deities, and tender a sincere apology to the Hindu community.

AHAD has taken a lead role in countering the abuse of Hindu images by major corporation and media. AHAD led successful action of the Hindu community and procured apologies from Sony/Aerosmith, Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Fortune Dynamics, Sittin Pretty Designs and others for abusing Hindu images and symbols.

Our organization website can be found at : http://www.hindunet.org/ahad/ where you can see our stand on similar abuse of Hindu symbols. I have also left my phone no. on your answering machine. I would very much appreciate if you can call me or write to me right away.

Sincerely,

Ajay Shah,
American Hindus Against Defamation

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