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Toilet Seats Sport Hindu Gods

Sittin’ Pretty, a Seattle-based manufacturer of designer toilet seats, may find itself in the hot seat with the Hindu community in the days ahead. 

This morning, the American Hindu Anti-Defamation Coalition stumbled across the fledgling firm’s Web site (sittinprettydesign.com) and, much to their chagrin, discovered their Sacred Seats product line. 

The seats, which have bold images of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Kali emblazoned on the bottom of the lids, are available for $130 and come in three colors: bright red, royal blue, and black. 

“All toilet seats are completely functional,” the Web site explains. And “three coats of waterproof clear coat protect the art, as well as make the seats completely washable with a non-abrasive cleaner.”

“They should stop doing this at once,” Vijay Pallod, a spokesperson for the AHADC said angrily. “This is nonsense. It’s absolutely the wrong place to put our gods.” 

Pallod also pointed out that the product line’s exclusive focus on Hinduism is another cause for concern. 

“They say the Sacred Seat collection, but when you look at the site only Hinduism is featured,” he observed. “That doesn’t make any sense to me. If you’re going to call it that, why not pick up all the religions? So we don’t know why they are doing it.” 

Repeated phone calls and e-mails to Sittin’ Pretty by the AHADC and Rediff.com went unanswered today. But a Dun & Bradstreet business report revealed the company was founded in 1999 and employs two people. Lamar Van Dyke is listed as a partner and the company does not appear to have a distribution presence beyond its Web site.

Pallod said the AHADC will give Van Dyke time to reply to their first overtures. “The first thing we do is talk to the people politely and present our views,” he said. “Many of them stop right there. But if they don’t, we can involve lawyers and begin protests.” 

The San Diego-based AHADC has already carried out several successful campaigns to end the insensitive use of Hindu deities in the United States. Most recently it convinced Fortune Dynamic, a California-based company, to stop importing shoes from Taiwan imprinted with images of Hindu gods and goddesses.

Responding to AHADC complaints, a topless dancing bar in Texas ended their use of Radha and Krishna iconography in their advertisements and stage shows this year. 

And shlokas from the Bhagavad Gita were also clipped out of an orgy scene in the video and cable television version of Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut after AHADC protests. 

“This has been happening for a long time, but we’re getting more assertive and proactive now,” Pallod said. “We have the tools and the conviction to talk to them and change their minds.”



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