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