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Converse withdraws shoes carrying images of Hindu deities – Thanks to Houston-based woman Beth Kulkarni



Couple of weeks ago we had written about Converse shoe company using images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses on its shoes. Now thanks to the efforts made by Houston-based woman Beth Kulkarni, the designer shoes carrying pictures of Hindu deities were withdrawn from sales in the US. She chose the democratic way of protesting, she send emails to the company expressing her anguish and protest. It worked – the company realized the mistake – tendered an apology and removed the product. Democratic way of protesting has not lost its value in the modern world – there are people who use this mode of protest and there are people who respect it.
A Houston-based woman Beth Kulkarni raised the issue with the shoe company last week and the company sent its apologies to her via email. The company responded, saying it was an unintentional mistake on their part.
"As a Hindu, I am very much offended by the use of pictures of Hindu deities on Converse shoes. Hindus in general find this very offensive. To avoid further hurting the sentiments of Hindus world-wide, I request that these shoes be removed from the market effective immediately," Kulkarni wrote in three emails to the Converse shoe company.
"When I heard about these shoes, my immediate concern was to express my own feelings and request for action and also indicate that many other Hindus also would feel as I did. I am sure other Hindus did likewise," Kulkarni said.
The response of Converse shoe company
"We apologise for the unintentional offence and have decided to immediately discontinue the sales of the Jimi Hendrix/Axis shoes," said Jessica, a spokeswoman for the company. The shoes carried images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
"Converse designed the Converse Chuck Taylor Jimi Hendrix/Axis shoe to demonstrate our support of music culture and to celebrate the contributions of the global music icon, Jimi Hendrix," Jessica said in her email response yesterday.
"With approval of the Hendrix estate, we applied artwork taken directly from the 1967 "Axis: Bold as Love" album cover. The cover art included images of Hindu deities. Our ambitions were to honor the music of Jimi Hendrix. It was not our intent to offend Hindu culture by having Hindu deities on footwear," Jessica wrote.
Thanks to Converse for understanding the religious feelings of the Hindu community.
Thanks to Beth Kulkarni and to all other Hindus who made sure that the protest was heard.  

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