Hanuman plush dolls, being sold in America by Pennsylvania-based company Kridana, have caused a furore among Hindu groups in India and abroad.
The US-based Forum for Hindu Awakening has asked the company to recall the toy immediately.
“Your toy is denigrating. Please refrain from producing/selling any more of these,” said Bhavna Shinde of the Forum. Kridana, which brings Indian epics to life for children, has also brought out plush dolls based on characters from the Ramayana, but the Hanuman doll is the most popular.
The company says, “Through modern toy technology, we’re connecting our children with millennia of tradition and culture.”
The Universal Society of Hinduism, another US based organisation, said inappropriate use of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt devotees.
“Hanuman as a plush doll reduces him to a toy under the mercy of a child, while in reality the believers put their destiny in the hands of their deities,” said Rajan Zed, president of the Society. Vishwa Hindu Parishad spokesperson Surendra Jain said, “You can’t commercialise God. Withdraw the dolls or face agitation.”
—Harsha Bhatnagar and ANI