LOS ANGELES (United States): Sparking another controversy, international singer and pop-icon Rihanna has come under fire for hurting religious sentiments of Hindus in one of her latest photo-shoots. On February 16, the singer took to her Twitter account to share an image that was clicked for her lingerie brand Savage X Fenty. Rihanna is seen posting naked, with her arms around the chest while donning a purple bottom.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) February 15, 2021
Upset Hindus are seeking an apology from singer-actress-businesswoman Rihanna for wearing Lord Ganesha pendant (on a long necklace) covering her belly-button and posted on her official Twitter handle on February 15, calling it highly inappropriate.
The picture was highly criticised for being ‘disrespectful’ towards Hindu deities. BJP leader Ram Kadam considered the post “appalling”, saying how Rihanna is openly mocking the “beloved Hindu god.”
Veteran Hindu voice Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used as a fashion statement to push a sexy lingerie line or become a tool for sexy fashion.
Inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion in the world with about 1.2 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled.
Many devotees wear a Lord Ganesha pendant on a short necklace on a regular basis to express their reverence/devotion to Lord Ganesha, but wearing it as a fashion accessory in a one-time photo-shoot in this disrespectful manner for commercial agenda was quite out of line.
Zed suggested Rihanna to undergo training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that she had a better understanding of the feelings of communities and customers.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as the god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. There are about three million Hindus in the USA. February 15 happened to be Ganesha Jayanti (Ganesha’s birthday).
Another Social Media Backlash For Rihanna:
Soon after the picture went viral, any took to Twitter to express their displeasure and accused her of hurting their religious sentiments. Many also called her out for cultural appropriation.
I am a Muslim but as an Indian and Maharashtrian I love Lord Ganesha ji – sorry this misuse of Ganesha ji image hurts my feelings & sentiments – will Rihanna Backers in India accept this also? #GaneshaInsulted pic.twitter.com/ueHOS9UMZF
— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) February 16, 2021
We complained @DelhiPolice & @MumbaiPolice against CEO @Twitter @Facebook under CC to the ministry of Home & IT GoI for suitable legal action and delete the anti-India and anti Hindu SM accounts of @rihanna pic.twitter.com/xjf3vOuJoA
— विनोद बंसल (@vinod_bansal) February 16, 2021
My Religion is not your aesthetic. https://t.co/E7qMZVT2iy
— 🅱️humi jas (@aigirinand1) February 15, 2021