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Buddha image on american footwear sparks outrage across the world

REPUBLICA

KATHMANDU, Aug 29

The Buddhist Studies Department (BSD) of Tribhuvan University (TU) has expressed concern over reports in different websites and social networking sites regarding the use of Lord Buddha´s image on shoe products from the US-based company ICON Shoe Designs.

BSD chief Milan Ratna Shakya told Republica that using Buddha´s image on shoe items is highly condemnable and an affront to Buddhists around the world.
“We do not claim that the company did it deliberately, but it should apologize, showing due respect to the millions of Buddhists in the world,” said Shakya.

Voices against the company have been raised in dozens of websites by the public in Nepal, India, China, Myanmar, Singapore and many other countries.

According to GoPetition website, May Yadana Aung from Myanmar, on August 5, filed a petition seeking action against Icon Shoe: “Eliminate the use and sale of all apparel footwear designs relating to Buddhism with immediate effect, demand Icon Shoes issue a public apology to all Buddhists across the world and release a public statement on the outcome.”

Similarly, one Naresh Kadyan from India who participated in a debate on “GlobalVoices – the world is talking are you listening?” website said, “This is an offence in India and we have lodged a complaint with Delhi Police, bearing No. 42-B dated August 5, 2012 and repeated by Sukanya Kadyan and Abhishek Kadyan on the 13th with the Prashant Vihar station in Delhi. We are making online petitions to book ebay India for trading this objectionable footwear and appealed to more than 30 banks to reject payments for these products.”

Photos of the controversial products were displayed in the company´s facebook page in the first week of August.

An american company ICON Shoe Design that imprints buddha image.

Expressing fury against the shoe company, a number of people on the company´s official website and facebook page have urged the sold items be collected from the market and proper respect shown to Buddhism, which preaches peace and harmony.

A post on ICON facebook page from one Thaiu Mag at Madan Mohan Engineering College, Gorakhpur reads,“Shoes with images of Buddha are an insane idea. It is definitely not creativity. I urge you to remove the product from your shelf immediately.”

Despite several posts objecting to the company´s product, the corporation has issued neither a denial nor an apology.

The company´s ´About us´ column says it was established in 1999 by an anonymous Hollywood filmmaker.

 Source: My Republica DailyLink: http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php/portal/slc/?action=news_details&news_id=40744
Published on 2012-08-29 22:45:37
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About nirjanasharma

Nepali Journalist.

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