Whistable's Water Polo Shop removes 'highly inappropriate' swimsuit with Hindu deity on it

The swimsuit featured an image of Lord Ganesh. Credit: BPM Media / PA

A sporting goods store in Whitstable has removed a swimsuit from its online store, after it was branded 'highly inappropriate' by the Hindu community.

Water Polo Shop was urged to remove the item, which depicted the Hindu deity Lord Ganesh by members of the religion, which they said was an attempt to ‘trivialise’ the faith and a form of ‘religious appropriation’.

Lord Ganesh is one of the best known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon, revered as a god of wisdom and remover of obstacles.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said in a statement: “Lord Ganesh was greatly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be tightly wrapped around your body as a fashion statement or facilitate your perspiration or catch your body fluids.

"Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for mercantile or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.”

Rajan Zed called the depiction highly inappropriate. Credit: BPM Media

Zed, who is President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, added: “Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivialising it was painful to the followers.

“Sporting goods stores should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege and belittling sacred Hindu deities. It was deeply trivialising of immensely venerated Lord Ganesh to be flaunted like this.”

It has now been confirmed the design, which is owned by a separate company called BBOSI, has been removed from the Water Polo Shop website.

In a statement, BBOSI said: "The Ganesh swimwear models have already been eliminated from our website. We apologise for any inconveniences caused."