Bentonville, Arkansas – World’s largest retailer Walmart bowed to the religious sentiments expressed by a Hindu organization and halted the sale of Ganesh Plush Doll from its online store.
Rajan Zed, who spearheaded the protest asking for withdrawal of this objectionable product, thanked Walmart for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought that marketing Lord Ganesh as a plush doll was trivializing and insensitive.
Calling it “highly inappropriate,” Zed, the President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted that Walmart in product description named Ganesh as “the god of cuddliness” and Ganesh Plush Doll was listed as “Religious Novelty” and “Funny Gift.”
Ganesh Plush Doll, earlier selling for $18.94 at Walmart.com, now shows up as “This item is no longer available,” when a customer tries to purchase it online.
Zed suggested that Walmart and other companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity to get an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.
Zed had pointed out that in Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and was invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.
Walmart, headquartered in Bentonville (Arkansas, USA), whose tagline is “Save money. Live better,” claims to be a “worldwide household name” with about 11,700 stores and whose fiscal year 2017 revenue was about $486 billion. Walmart.com claims to have over 1,000,000 products available online.