Republicans in Fort Bend County, Texas, have apologized after utilizing the Hindu deity Ganesha in a marketing campaign advert.
The county’s Republicans posted the advert in a neighborhood newspaper, Time India Herald, in the course of the Hindu pageant Ganesh Chaturthi, a celebration of Ganesha’s delivery.
“Fort Bend County Republican Occasion needs a Pleased Ganesh Chathurthi to the followers of Hindu religion,” the highest banner of the advert reads.
However then the advert featured one other line, which likened the god to the Republican Occasion’s elephant brand and in contrast it to the Democrat Occasion’s donkey mascot.
It requested voters: “Would you worship a donkey or an elephant? The selection is yours.”
The advert prompted outrage, with the Hindu American Basis issuing a press release saying using Ganesha was each “problematic and offensive.”
“Whereas we recognize the Fort Bend County GOP’s try to succeed in out to Hindus on an essential Hindu pageant, its advert — equating Hindus’ veneration of the Lord Ganesha with selecting a political celebration primarily based on its animal image — is problematic and offensive,” Rishi Bhutada of the muse mentioned within the assertion.
They urged politicians to assume twice earlier than utilizing any spiritual imagery for political acquire.
Fort Bend County Republican Occasion chairman Jacey Jetton issued an apology over the advert quickly after, writing the group “ought to have been extra respectful.”
Following the county’s Republican Occasion’s apology, the muse up to date its assertion saying it appreciates the transfer.
“Nonetheless, how they plan to not make the same mistake sooner or later of their outreach to the Hindu neighborhood, and all communities in Fort Bend, stays an open query,” the muse mentioned.
The advert additionally garnered criticism from politicians, together with Indian-American Sri Preston Kulkarni, who’s a Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress from Texas.
He tweeted the advert earlier this week, writing: “Asking Hindu-People if they might moderately vote for a donkey or an elephant by evaluating Ganesha, a spiritual determine, to a political celebration is very inappropriate.”
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In an interview with HuffPost, Kulkarni mentioned he was “shocked” to see the advert.
“After I noticed the advert, I used to be shocked. Think about if this was in regards to the Jewish faith or the Christian faith,” he mentioned.
“Is that any solution to speak about any person’s religion? Asking Hindus to vote Republican by evaluating a spiritual determine to the GOP’s mascot? In America, we don’t worship political events.”
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