The ruling Republican party in the United States of America had to apologise for likening Hindu God Ganesha to their party symbol in an advertisement, reported the New Indian Express.
The Fort Bend County, Texas wing of the party had published an advertisement with an image of Elephant headed Hindu God, Lord Ganesha, on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi festival to woo Hindu community, with a text, “Would you worship a donkey or an elephant? The choice is yours.”
The text had a clear political connotation as the symbol of the Republican party is an elephant and donkey is the symbol of the Democratic party.
The Indian Americans described this move of using Hindu Gods for political posturing as ‘offensive’ and asked the Republican party to retract it.
Asking Hindu-Americans if they would rather vote for a donkey or an elephant by comparing Ganesha, a religious figure, to a political party is highly inappropriate.— Sri Preston Kulkarni (@SriPKulkarni) September 18, 2018
The Fort Bend County Republican party must retract this ad. https://t.co/zHyqux9Soc pic.twitter.com/z1Us2oVQ5L
The party’s county unit felt the heat soon and issued an apology to the Hindu community and clarified that it “was not meant to disparage Hindu customs or traditions in any way".
Hindu American Foundation’s Board Member and a resident of Fort Bend County said, "While we appreciate the Fort Bend County GOP's attempt to reach out to Hindus on an important Hindu festival, its ad - equating Hindus' veneration of the Lord Ganesha with choosing a political party based on its animal symbol - is problematic and offensive,”
Fort Bend County Republican Chairman Jacey Jetton, in a letter, wrote, “The ad was meant to be part of the celebration to acknowledge the 'Ganesh Chaturthi' festival of 13 September".
" We offer our sincerest apologies to anyone that was offended by the ad. Obviously, that was not the intent. The ad was not meant to disparage Hindu customs or traditions in any way," Jetton said.