If there’s anything that can offend Indians easily, it is someone doing anything even mildly different from whole-heartedly worshipping their many gods. And they make sure the world knows how offended they are by making it trend on social media. Recently, we saw #BoycottAmazon trending on Twitter for selling underwear and doormats with Hindu symbols on it. Eventually, the e-commerce giant had to take down those products as people claimed it “demeaned Hinduism”.
And then in October this year, an Indian jewellery brand was made to withraw an advertisment because it showed a baby shower for a pregnant Hindu woman by her Muslim in-laws. The brand had to face massive trolling, and it even resulted in a hate campaign in the form of yet another hashtag: #BoycottTanishq.
Today, it’s WAP rapper Cardi B in the line of fire.
Cardi B posed as Hindu goddess Durga on the cover of a shoe magazine. In the November issue of Footwear News, she’s seen posing as the 10-armed warrior goddess but instead of weapons, Cardi’s seen holding a shoe.
The caption of the post read: “In a Georges Hobeika dress, she pays homage to Durga, the Hindu goddess, whose symbols of protection and inner strength resonate as much in modern times as they have through the centuries. Like Durga, Cardi B is a dominant female voice at a critical time.”
The advertisement did not sit well for many, and social media users accused Cardi for causing disrespect to the Hindu religion. Many slammed her for holding a shoe in her hand which is considered “unholy” and is not allowed in temples. Many also lashed out at her for her outfit and were extremely “displeased” by her “revealing” homage to the goddess.
One tweet read, “So some people are saying Cardi B is paying homage to our Hindu goddess Durga. As a Hindu, I want to say that Durga maa is never depicted bare bodied. Secondly it is prohibited to wear shoes in a temple and this woman is holding a shoe on her hand depicting goddess Durga?”
Soon after, Cardi began to trend on Twitter for “hurting the sentiments” of Hindus. The 28-year old rapper then took to Instagram and posted a series of apology videos.
“When I did the shoot the creatives told me I was going to represent a Goddess, that she represents strength, femininity and liberation, and that’s something that I love and I’m all about, and thought it was dope,” she said in an apology video. “But if people think I’m offending their culture or their religion I want to say that was not my intent. I do not like offending anyone’s religion; I wouldn’t like it if someone did it to my religion. When people dress as Virgin Mary and Jesus, as long as they do it in a beautiful, graceful way… But I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful; maybe I should have done my research. I’m sorry, I can’t change the past but I will do more research for the future.”
The cover has been taken down by the brand and Cardi herself after the apology and a different cover has been released that says, “The power of Cardi B”. The magazine cover was to launch Cardi B's signature shoes collection Club C Cardi with Reebok.
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