Would you mind a Hindu deity on your food or confectionery package? The Seattle based Archie McPhee is selling mints branded as Curry Flavored Kali Mints that feature Goddess Kali on top of its round tin lid with a mint pellet on her tongue.
The Hindu community in the United States feels it is inappropriate to use Hindu deities and concepts for commercial purposes. Rajan Zed, who is president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that the Goddess Kali is revered highly in Hinduism and is meant to be worshiped in temples and not used for selling mints. Symbols of any faith, large or small, should not be mishandled, he said. Bhavna Shinde of the Forum for Hindu Awakening has termed such usage of Kali as "upsetting and denigrating". She urged the company to recall the product, and should not make such products which trivialize sacred symbols of faith.
Does Archie McPhee know who or what is Kali? The product's description seems to suggest so: "Kali is a Hindu goddess that represents death, destruction, time and change. And what food comes to mind when you think of death, destruction, time and change? Curry! These exotic spice mints are great on their own or as an accompaniment to basmati rice and garlic naan. Each 2-1/4" round tin contains one hundred mints."
The online store sells some weird stuff such as cat and dog Buddha statues, and a host of Jesus Christ novelty products, like Jesus action figures, Jesus bandages, etc. It also sells some useful things like Indian moral story posters, perhaps owing to its novelty value for US consumers. While some Hindu groups are calling for the company to recall the mints and never to take religious figures lightly again in their products, Archie McPhee will not discontinue or recall Kali Mints, a company spokesperson stated.
Are you offended by this use of Kali on mint tins? Or is it okay for you and a condonable act? Please post a comment and have your say!