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US: Hindus call for withdrawal of 'Hanuman doll'

February 16, 2010 15:35 IST

Upset Hindus have asked for the immediate recall of the toy 'Hanuman plush doll', calling it "inappropriate, upsetting, and denigrating". Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees' feelings.

"Hanuman as a plush doll reduced him to a toy under the mercy of a child, while in reality the believers put the destinies of themselves in the hands of their deities. This would send erroneous message to our highly impressionable children that they could control Hanuman and other deities," Zed said in statement released on Monday.

Meanwhile, Bhavna Shinde of Forum for Hindu Awakening, in a communiqué today to Kridana, the company based in Pennsylvania which sells the Hanuman plush dolls, wrote: "Hanuman is highly revered in Hinduism, meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines, and not to be thrown loosely around on the floor, cars, bathrooms, etc.; or squeezed; or hit by feet; or used as a play ball or pillow. Please recall this toy immediately and refrain from producing/selling any more of these in the future.We feel that your toy ''Hanuman as plush doll'' is very inappropriate, upsetting, and denigrating. We humbly request that while manufacturing other Hinduism related objects also, please stay true to the scriptures and respectful to deities and concepts."

Zed explained that Lord Hanuman was greatly revered and his worship was very popular among Hindus and there were numerous temples dedicated to him. Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Zed argued.

Kridana, the company manufacturing the toy describes the doll as 'squeezbly soft' and 'super-cuddly'. 'Through modern toy technology, we're connecting our children with millenia of tradition and culture', it adds.

Image: The Hanuman as plush doll.

Photograph courtesy:

Source: ANI