A television commercial in Australia urging people to eat more lamb has drawn ire from the Hindu community as it features their Hindu god Ganseha, among other religious icons.
The commercial has been launched by industry group Meat and Livestock Australia, in which they used religious figures to urge people to eat more lamb meat. The commercial depicts Lord Ganehsa, Jesus, Budha and Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard. All these revered figures from different religious backgrounds are seen sitting down together to a lamb-based meal and raising a glass to the meat.
Hindus in Australia reacted with anger to the commercial as Lord Ganesha-who is an Indian god with the head of an elephant-is widely considered to be vegetarian.
The Indian high commission (embassy) in Canberra said it had taken the issue up with the Australian government.
“Lord Ganesha along with other religious figures is found to be ‘toasting lamb’, which the Indian community considers to be offensive and hurting their religious sentiments,” the commission said in a statement on Saturday.
The Indian consulate in Sydney has also made a direct appeal to Meat and Livestock Australia to withdraw the commercial, according to the statement.
So far an official statement from the industry body has not been received but it said that it was meeting community groups to respond to their concerns. The representatives from the group said that they had undertaken extensive research and consultation when producing the advertisement, which was intended to promote inclusivity and not intended to offend.