Bathroom mats. Toilet seats. Shoes. Dog tags.
All of these items have, in recent years, gone on sale adorned with images of Hindu deities, particularly that of Ganesha, known most commonly in the West for his elephant face.
“It is inappropriate, and it is offensive to devotees,” said Rajan Zed, a Reno, Nev.-based Hindu activist who protests against such commercial products.
“I haven’t seen Christ on toilet seat covers. Or any symbol of Islam,” said Vasudha Narayanan, a professor of religion at the University of Florida. “If you wouldn’t do it with one, why do you want to do it with something else? Or at least wouldn’t it behoove you to check?”