Lakshmi is the goddess of good fortune and beauty in Hinduism and is also known as 'world-mother'. Lisa Burke's Lisa Blue Swimwear claims to represent "the girl of the future who can be sexy, beautiful, powerful and environmentally aware at the same time."
Acclaimed Indian fashion designer Ritu Kumar feels that many contemporary designers use Hindu imagery "without understanding the symbolism attributed to our gods and goddesses." Ashish Soni, another well-known fashion designer echoed her viewpoint when he said to the Times of India, "Most of this happens out of ignorance. They don't realize the use of godly images, and the fact that they are actually deities worshiped."
Hindu American statesman Rajan Zed, 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. Lakshmi was meant to be worshiped in temples or home shrines and not for pushing swimwear in fashion shows for mercantile greed of an apparel company, Zed argued.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, asked the manufacturer Lisa Blue Swimwear and RAFW organizers to publicly apologize, and immediately recall all swimwear, which showed Hindu Goddess Lakshmi. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees, he said. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Zed stressed.
Meanwhile, Lisa Blue in a press release issued an apologia: "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.
Indeed, ignorance is bliss, but sometimes it can turn into blisters! What do you feel? Please post your valuable comments below.
Photos © Getty Images