The Indian community in Australia is enraged over an advertisement that shows Lord Ganesha, among other religious icons, endorsing the consumption of lamb meat.
The television commercial from industry group Meat and Livestock Australia shows a number of religious figures -- including Lord Ganesha, Jesus, Buddha and Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard -- sitting down together for a lamb-based meal and raising a glass to the meat.
The image of elephant-headed Lord Ganesha, who is widely considered to be vegetarian, has been met with anger in Australia’s Indian community, news agency AFP reported.
The Indian High Commission in Canberra said it had taken the issue up with the Australian government.
“Lord Ganesha along with other religious figures is found to be ‘toasting lamb’, which the Indian community consider to be offensive and hurting their religious sentiments,” the commission said in a statement.
The Indian consulate in Sydney has also made a direct appeal to Meat and Livestock Australia to withdraw the commercial, according to the statement.
The industry body said it was meeting community groups to respond to their concerns and said it had undertaken extensive research and consultation when producing the advertisement. The body said the advertisement was intended at promoting inclusivity and not to offend.