Victory! – Papa John’s Yoga commercial is pulled

APR 30, 2020 — Due to efforts of all those who signed the petition and due to the efforts of individuals who worked in their own capacity and protested, Papa John’s has pulled the commercial. Here is the statement from Papa John’s

“In everything we do, we’re guided by our values and our purpose that we love pizza and it brings us all together. We strive to demonstrate these values each day to create a people-first culture where truly everyone belongs. We are in the process of removing this commercial from rotation, which will take full effect over the next week.”

Papa Johns Pizza

Ask Papa John’s to Immediately Withdraw Papadias TV Commercial “Yoga”

I support the petition by American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD) and demand that Papa John’s immediately withdraw the advertisement titled, “Yoga” which profoundly demeans the primordial and sacred mantra, AUM (OM) and practice of yoga.  More than a billion Hindus around the world, chant this sacred sound daily as part of their spiritual practice.  “Yoga” commercial trivializes and insults the spiritual practice of Hindus.  During the past weeks, hundreds of thousands of Hindus have gathered online to collectively chant AUM to pray for global health and wellbeing. 

The poor choice of AUM and yoga, mocking Hindu dharma (religion, practices and way of life) is insensitive and Hinduphobic. It is inconsistent with your own lofty statement, “Papa John’s purpose is to bring people together with better pizza…we are committed to…creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture where everyone belongs.”  

If the “Yoga”commercial is not withdrawn immediately, we will ask all the Hindus around the world, including those in India to boycott Papa John’s. 

Promotion of lamb meat using the image of Lord Ganesha

AHAD Adds Global Hindu Voice to Protest Against Crass Australian Meat and Livestock Advertisement Depicting Lord Ganesha

For Immediate Release


The following statement was issued by Ajay Shah, Convenor, American Hindus Against Defamation and Utsav Chakrabarty, Public Relations Coordinator, World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)

AHAD Adds Global Hindu Voice to Protest Against Crass Australian Meat and Livestock Advertisement Depicting Lord Ganesha

American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD), the most prominent Hindu organization against Hindu defamation joins the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of Australia’s protest against Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) advertisement depicting beloved Hindu God Shree Ganesha for promotion of lamb meat (  The commercial further insults Lord Ganesha eating lamb meat, as “the elephant in the room.”  Additionally, dharmic saints wearing saffron are shown eating lamb meat.

Ganesha, holds a special place in the hearts of Hindus around the world.  Lord Ganesha is also revered by other dharmic traditions around the world, including Jains Sikhs, and Buddhists.  Buddhists, worship Lord Ganesha as the Buddhist God Vinayaka throughout Asia, including China and Japan.  In fact, many Buddhist traditions believe that Buddha himself was an avatar of Ganesha.

Ajay Shah, the Convenor of AHAD said, “To use the symbol of nonviolent faiths to promote a product that that represents the ultimate violence against innocent animals is abhorrent.  It is ironic that, Lord Ganesha is used to promote meat, whereas, millions of Hindus celebrate the festival attributed to Lord Ganesha, by fasting and abstaining from food.  Today, American Hindus stand united in their opposition to MLA’s  advertisement and demand that it be withdrawn immediately.“

AHAD is registering its strong protest against MLA with the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau.  The Bureau has apparently judged the advertisement to be non-offensive.  AHAD contends that Australian Advertising Standards Bureau has absolutely no expertise or right to judge what is offensive and non-offensive to Hindus.  The Bureau should have consulted credible Hindu organizations like VHP- Australia ( before making its determination.  AHAD requests the Australian Minister for Multicultural Affairs to take note of this advertisement and take take action against its further propagation.

AHAD will also reach out to Buddhist communities across Asia and urge them to boycott Australian lamb based product until AMC withdraws its advertisement depicting Lord Ganesha and saffron clad Hindu priest and tenders an apology to the Hindu community.  AHAD has also launched an online protest against AMC advertisement ( where the global community can sign a petition and let their voice be heard.

About American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD)

American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD) is the first and the most prominent Hindu organization in USA.  A project of World Hindu Council of America (VHPA), AHAD has been actively monitoring media and products to ensure accurate representation of Hindu dharma, culture, images and icons.

For further information, please contact:

Ajay Shah
Convener, American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD)
Phone: (858) 866-9661

About World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)

World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) is the most prominent organization of Hindus in USA.  Founded in 1970, it has branches across the country.  For more information, please contact:

Utsav Chakrabarti

Public Relations Coordinator
World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)
P.O. Box 600
460 Boston Rd, Billerica, MA 01821
Twitter: @VHPANews


AHAD Protest Against CNN’s Believer with Reza Aslan

We join the protest by American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD) to demand that CNN stops airing “Believer with Reza Aslan” show until practicing Hindu scholars have reviewed the content to ensure that it does not promote xenophobia and Hinduphobia.

We note that within days of seemingly racially motivated shooting of two Hindu engineers in Kansas, CNN is unleashing a program that is certain to promote xenophobia, specifically, Hinduphobia.

We the petitioners believe that this crass representation of Hindu faith will do little to promote interfaith understanding. It will promote ignorance about Hindu traditions and promote ridicule of Hindu children in the schools. For example, a teacher has requested CNN on Facebook if the Hindu related episode will be available for teaching ancient Indian history to her sixth grade class! We believe that more schools will use these half-baked, un-researched and inappropriate content to portray Hindu traditions as mainstream and this will have wider Hinduphobic societal impact than CNN can imagine.

We welcome Mr. Aslan to meet with practitioners of mainstream Hindu faiths. Learn about Hindu faith from our saints, priests and ascetics, and experience the practice of Hindu traditions from its practitioners and not merely from the libraries of elite institutions or known Hindu haters.

As a major global media outlet, CNN must hold itself to higher standards. To ensure that the educational ideals of this series are met, we demand that Hindu related episodes in the series be reviewed by practicing Hindu experts before they are aired. After the Hindu related episodes are aired, Hindu scholars must be invited to discuss the content of the show on air, and provide a deeper Hindu perspective.

Sign the Petition Here


Protest the Caricature of Hindu Deities to Sell Alcohol in Austin, TX


We the undersigned have recently noticed that your bar and restaurant, Whip In is caricaturing Hindu deities to sell alcohol.

We find the imagery and labels you have used to brand your ales,

Lakshmi Hefe
Parvati Pale Ale
the Ganesale
the Kalidurgale
the Gayatribrews

have direct connotation to the names of the most sacred Hindu deities (representation of Hindu Gods and Goddesses), Saraswati, Parvati, Gayatri, Kali and Durga, Rama, Krishna and Ganesha. The images used on the alcohol bottles as depicted on your website indicate that you clearly intend to make this connection.

We deplore the use of Hindu images and sacred names to sell a product that is irrelevant to Hindu spiritual practices. This caricature of Hindu deities to promote alcohol is abusive commercial use of Hindu deities and symbols and scriptures. It denigrates the Hindu dharma and hurts the sentiments of its practitioners.

We strongly request that you replace the Hindu images and names from your branding immediately and apologize to the Hindu community for hurting their sentiments.



Destruction of UNESCO Heritage Bujang Valley Site in Malaysia

Dear Sir,


We protest the sale of planned demolition of Bujang Valley UNESCO Heritage and Archeological site by the Malaysian Government for housing development.

Kadaram (Kedah) is part of the ancient King Raja Raja Cholan’s kingdom. Raja Raja Chola built many temples in Kedah in the eight century, however the only surviving temple is in Bujang Valley. Bujang Valley is recognized as a heritage place which is older than Angkor Watt in Cambodia.

The global Hindu community, led by American Hindus Against Defamation, a project of World Hindu Council of America and other supporting organizations asserts that the Malaysian government does not have a right to sell this UNESCO heritage site and the land surrounding it for commercial and housing development.

We also express our concerns for other dharmic heritage sites in Malaysia such as Kota Gelanggi. We believe that it is the responsibility of Malaysian Government to preserve and protect these Malaysian Hindu heritage sites. The preservation of these sites will be a testament to Malaysia’s great ancient heritage and an important link to Malaysian past.


Sign Protest Here


‘Om’ on thongs invite Hindu ire

‘Om’ on thongs invite Hindu ire

PTI | Feb 7, 2005, 02.41 PM IST

Original URL:

WASHINGTON: An American online store selling womens’ undergarments featuring images of Hindu Gods and religious icons has angered members of the community who have demanded their immediate withdrawal from the website.

In an ad for womens’ thongs, has on display hundred per cent cotton ‘Hindu God Shiva classic thong’ priced at USD 12.99 with the religious deity’s face, another called ‘iGod Shiva Classic thong’ for USD 15 makes a statement “Namaste it loud. Your’re Hindu and you’re proud.”

The ‘Om Classic Thong’ priced at USD 8.99 explains “Om or rather aum is a sacred Hindu symbol that represents the absolute.”

Leading the protest for the products withdrawal is the American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD), the largest Hindu anti-defamation group in North America comprising several Hindu organisations.

“We have recently come across two sets of products -thongs and boxer shorts with the images of Hindu deities and symbols imprinted on them…AHAD finds the depiction of universally revered Hindu deities and symbols on the undergarments extremely offensive,” it said in a statement.

The website last week had offended the Sikh community by displaying a range of thongs with the Khanda emblem representing the four pillars of the Sikh faith.

Sikh organisations under the World Sikh Council America Region (WSC-AR) had objected to the display of the thongs and had written to CafePress asking it to withdraw the offensive garment.
“We are very disappointed to know that CafePress is selling an item offensive to the Sikh faith..the underwear with the Sikh symbol and the accompanying language is racist and demeans the Sikh faith. This is especially hurtful because the Sikh community has been prefentially victimised after 9/11,” the WSC-AR complaint said.
The protests had borne fruit with CafePress withdrawing the product line from its site.

There have also been instances of western companies imprinting images of Lord Ganesha and Aum on the sole of flip flop sandals, God Rama’s image on sniff tissues and lunch boxes with images of goddess Kali and Durga.


Nataraja – Lord Shiva as a Scantly Clad Woman Hawks Shower Fixtures

Does this Offend You?

Kohlar Ad

Kohler, one of the most prominent plumbing supply companies is using Lord Nataraja (a form of Lord Shiva) in the form of a scantly clad woman and taking a shower to hawk its new shower products.

The image in the Kohler advertisement appeared in The New York Times on Sunday. Oct 13, 2002. This image is unmistakably that of Lord Shiva as Nataraja. 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.




Traditional Nataraja Representation

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.

The Kohler Company’s insensitivity towards Hindus has been compounded by the fact that several calls placed to the PR department of the company by AHAD have gone unanswered.

AHAD demands that the Kohler Company immediately withdraw all the advertisements with Hindu images, and tender a sincere apology to the Hindu community.

AHAD reminds the Kohler Company 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.

AHAD requests the Hindu community to visit the AHAD web site and sign the protest book at

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.

Eyes Wide Shut

Shloka In Orgy Scene To Go, But Hundreds of Prints of Eyes Wide Shut Will Still Retain It


Publication: Rediff


Date of Publication: 09/1999

Author: R S Shankar

Bowing to pressure by the American Hindus Against Defamation and its allies, Warner Bros agreed on Monday to delete from the soundtrack the Bhagvad Gita used in an orgy scene in Stanley Kubrick’s controversial film, Eyes Wide Shut. The movie, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, explores the darker side of a marriage, and ends up supporting monogamy.

Hailed by many leading critics as one of the finest films in recent years, it was slammed by other critics including the influential Pauline Kael who came out of retirement to drub it as ‘a piece of crap.’

It ends its American run with a disappointing $ 56 million at the box-office. It is showing on about 400 screens, and in a week, it would lose about 300. The movie will briefly play in second-run movie houses.

A spokesperson for Warner said the agreement reached with the Hindu groups does not affect the prints which are being used in cinemas in the countries where the film is in release.

Over 1,500 prints used in America would not be touched, Warner said, adding that where ever the film is in release, the shloka will remain. For instance, the print unveiling at the prestigious Venice Film Festival’s opening night today will have the shloka. But the television and video versions of the film in all countries will not have the shloka, the spokesperson added. The movie will be aired on American television after about six months. It will be available on video a few weeks thereafter.

Eyes Wide Shut is currently running in Japan, where it is a big hit, and has grossed over $ 10 million. It is expected to end up with an impressive $ 25 million gross. In Australia, where many moviegoers walked out during several screenings, it has earned a modest $ 4.5 million. A Warner spokesperson said the prints there will not be altered.

In England, Germany, Italy and a dozen countries, however, the print will be shown without the shloka. The movie will be shown on more than 350 screens in England shortly. American-born Kubrick made England his home for more than two decades.

“It is significant the decision to delete the shloka came on the eve of the British release and at the end of the American engagement,” said one Hindu activist. “Someone in England must have thought of the huge protests there when Salman Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses was released. Surely, we were not going to do anything as foolish as that, but what the heck, we are glad that some sense has dawned on the producers at last.”

Nancy Kirkpatrick, senior vice-president for publicity at Warner Bros, said Jan Harlan, the London-based executive producer of Eyes Wide Shut, was shocked to learn about the hurt experienced by Hindu groups. Harlan has repeatedly said there was any intention to slight or hurt anybody, she said.

“Kubrick too never intended to offend Hindus,” Kirkpatrick said, after discussing the issue with Harlan and others associated with the movie which was shot completely in England. “He was offered a number of chants and he chose one without realizing its meaning.”

Kubrick had the final cut say in the movie, but the director died soon after the film was completed and edited for release. A few days before the movie’s release, Warner digitally masked part of the orgy scene in America to avoid a rating problem. Some critics and Kubrick fans protested, but since the movie, which took a strong $ 30 million in the opening week, began slipping at the box-office with a 50 per cent decline each week, the protests went unheeded.

Hindu groups had argued that if Warner could soften the impact of the orgy scenes, they could delete the shloka from the movie.

“We gave them 13 days notice,” said Ajay Shah, convener of the AHAD. “We said there would be protests wherever the movie is going to be released and Warner Bros – or anyone for that matter — should not think they could get away offending Hindus across the world.”


Portrayal of Shree Krishna on Xena : The Warrior Princess Raises Concerns of Hindus Worldwide

Producers of the popular TV show, “Xena: Warrior Princess” have cast Krishna as a fictional supporting player in an upcoming action episode – “The Way”.

The program, produced by Universal Studios, has Xena “seeking the help of the god Krishna to rescue Gabrielle and Eli from the clutches of the King of the Demons.”

Hindus have voiced concern at this fictionalized portrayal of the revered Lord Shree Krisha. Our simple request to preview either the script of the episode or the episode itself, and evaluate it from the Hindu perspective has gone unanswered.

We would like to express strong concerns about this episode on behalf of American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD).

We urge the Hindus around the world to write to the producers of the show, Universal Studios and the Pacific Renaissance Picture requesting that the Hindu concerns be fully addressed before this upcoming episode of Xena : The Warrior Princess is released.

We would like to make the following points very clear :

1. Irregardless of whether or not Bollywood also creates fictional scenarios about Lord Krishna, the point is that the way that it is apparently done here is in a way that equates Krishna with the gods of Greek and other mythology. It thus cheapens and trivializes what is inactuality something held sacred to almost one billion Hindus.

2. Creating fictional role for Lord Krishna is akin to the creation of fictional role for Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed.

3. Krishna is real! Krishna is the Supreme Lord, not a fictional,literary character who can be played with for mundane entertainment.

4. Hindus will be deeply offended if the producers run this show.

5. Many devotees will boycott products produced by the advertisers if the show is offensive to 1 billion strong Hindu community.

5. Universal Studios will be perceived as anti-Hindu, if they proceed with the show.

We certainly hope that the Universal Studios does not intend to hurt the sentiments of a billion strong Hindu community around the world. However, there is a distinct possibility that the airing of a story offensive to Hindus will indeed permanently alienate the Hindu community not just towards this particular show but all the entertainment products that Universal Studios produces. After all, Hindus around the world can hardly be silent spectators while the God they worship so passionately is being denigrated.

It is our clear intention to avoid any confrontations or controversies. We have always sought to amicably resolve the issues that hurt the Hindu sentiments in the very early stage, and we are indeed hopeful that this issue will also be similarly resolved.