Texas Republicans Apologise to Hindu-Americans For Ganesha Ad
“Would you worship a donkey or an elephant? The choice is yours,” read the ad sponsored by a Texas Republican party.
“Would you worship a donkey or an elephant? The choice is yours.”
This was the text of an advert sponsored by a Republican party group in Texas featuring Lord Ganesha.
The ad, published in a local newspaper by Fort Bend County Republican party, was meant to ‘woo’ the Hindu-American voters for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. The plan, meanwhile, was to use the party symbols in the ad; the elephant is the party symbol of Republicans, while Democrats have donkey as their party symbol.
They didn’t, however, realise that their ad will ended up "offending" the Indian-American community.
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has now sought a clarification from the party.
“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,” Rishi Bhutada, Board Member and Fort Bend County resident, was quoted as saying on the HAF website.
Meanwhile, Fort Bend County Republican Party has issued an apology clarifying that it “was not meant to disparage Hindu customs or traditions in any way.”
The county's Republican Chairperson Jacey Jetton issued a statement saying the ad, placed in time for Ganesh Chaturthi, was not intended to cause offence.
“This ad was created with input from those of Hindu faith, so that we could properly pay respect to the sacred festival. This highlights the difficulty in outreach that can be positive for one group but not for another in the same community. We offer our sincerest apologies to anyone that was offended by the ad. Obviously, that was not the intent,” said Jetton.
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