Goddesses on bikinis: India conveys concern to Australia

May 11th, 2011 - 6:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) India Wednesday conveyed its “deep concern” to Australia over a prominent Australian designer using the images of Hindu goddesses on swimsuits.

“The Ministry of External Affairs has conveyed its deep concern to the Australian High Commission in New Delhi, asking that all concerned be apprised of the Indian religious sensitivities in the matter,” said a statement issued here Wednesday.

Noting that the designer “displayed certain swimwear costumes carrying Indian religious images inappropriately”, the ministry said that the “issue was similarly taken up by our Consulate General in Sydney with the fashion designer”.

The statement said the Australian designer “promptly apologized to the Hindu community”.

According to reports, bikinis with images of Goddess Lakshmi were displayed last week at the Rosemount Australian fashion week in Sydney under the label Lisa Blue. They were designed by Lisa Burke.

The ministry said that she also “assured that the range has been withdrawn and will never be available for sale in any stockists or retail outlet anywhere in the world and has stopped production of the swimwear in question”.

As the news of the collection reached India, Hindu rightwing groups condemned the fashion show for “hurting Hindu sentiments” and staged noisy protests. They also submitted a memorandum to the Australian High Commission “demanding immediate action against those involved in the designing and conducting of the fashion show”.

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