Stores asked to remove hurtful perfume range

2015-07-23 10:34
Hindu goddesses Luxmi and Radha on the torso and genital area of a male body-shaped bottle of the latest fragrance range by international designer Jean Paul Gaultier.

Hindu goddesses Luxmi and Radha on the torso and genital area of a male body-shaped bottle of the latest fragrance range by international designer Jean Paul Gaultier. (Kailene Pillay)

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AN internal circular between Red Square stores in the country leaked to The Witness has requested that all store managers immediately remove the controversial perfumes depicting images of Hindu gods from their shelves “until further notice”.

The new summer range of fragrances by international fashion and fragrance designer Jean Paul Gaultier came under fire this week after the provocative body-shaped bottles with pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses were released.

A chain manager at Edcon’s Red Square division sent an e-mail to all stores ordering store managers to “please urgently remove all stock of the JPG [Jean Paul Gaultier] Deity Range”.

“This must be done immediately and placed in the stockroom — until further notice,” read the e-mail to staff.

South African Hindu Maha Sabha president Ashwin Trikamjee said he had sent out e-mails to the manufacturers and suppliers but is still waiting for responses.

“The designers in France, Jean Paul Gaultier, have acknowledged my e-mail but I am still waiting for a proper response,” said Trikamjee.

A source has told The Witness that Edcon has “warned” its supplier to stop supplying the product. The source says the national company is now claiming a full refund for stock already bought, but this could not be confirmed as Edcon did not respond to a media query.

The international brand released its new “Deity Summer Fragrances” in South Africa this week. The body-shaped bottles have multicoloured pictures of Lord Krishna, goddess Lakshmi and goddess Radha on the buttocks, penis and breasts of the bottles.

Pietermaritzburg resident Krish Pillay said he condemns the sale of such products and “hopes the Human Rights Commission heavily fines the company”.

U.S. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said that the Hindu deities shown on the bottles were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be thrown around inappropriately for mercantile greed.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said in a statement from Nevada that the “inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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