Hindu statesman Rajan Zed is seeking apology from American celebrity-socialite-actress Kim Kardashian West for wearing earrings carrying sacred “Om” in a photo-shoot posted on her official Twitter handle on May 23, calling it highly inappropriate.
Zed, in a statement, said that hugely venerated “Om” was the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism was used to introduce and conclude religious work; and was not meant to be used as a fashion statement or become a tool for sexy fashion. Inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu icons or deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, emphasized that celebrities should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply trivializing of immensely revered “Om” to be displayed in such a manner.
Besides apologizing to the worldwide Hindu community, Zed also urged Kardashian to immediately remove the three such objectionable pictures from her Twitter account.
Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of 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, Zed noted.
Many devotees do wear an “Om” pendant, etc., on a regular basis to express their reverence/devotion; but wearing it as a fashion accessory in a one-time photo-shoot for commercial or other agenda was disrespectful, said Zed.
Zed suggested Kim Kardashian to undergo training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that she had a better understanding of the feelings of communities.
Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu symbols was disturbing to the Hindus world over. Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers, Zed added.
Usually considered the most powerful mantra in Hinduism, “Om” had been equated with brahman, isvara, atman, etc., Zed stated.