Hindu Goddess Swimsuit Sparks Outrage
India-Australia relations suffered a minor setback this week, after a swimsuit by an Australian fashion designer featuring a portrait of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity, sparked outrage across the subcontinent.
Designer and model Lisa Burke presented the swimsuit as part of the latest collection of her Lisa Blue label at Australian Fashion Week Thursday.
But when pictures of an Indian-looking model wearing a one-piece swimsuit with a portrait of Lakshmi printed on its front and rear made their way to India, Hindu nationalists didn’t like what they saw.
Over the weekend, they took to the streets in several Indian cities, including Hyderabad where pictures show activists burning the Australian flag in protest against what they viewed as an act of deep disrespect.
Ms. Burke’s label was quick to announce a halt in production, vowing that the Lakshmi swimsuit would never make it to stores.
“The image of Goddess Lakshmi will not appear on any piece of Lisa Blue swimwear for the new season, with a halt put on all production of the new range and pieces shown on the runway from last week removed. This range will never be available for sale in any stockists or retail outlets anywhere in the world, ” said a statement posted on the Lisa Blue Web site Saturday.