A large number of Indians have taken great offence after Rihanna, who is known for her bold fashion sense, shared a topless picture on Twitter and Instagram, sporting a long silver chain weighed down by a ‘Ganesha’ pendant, combined with a pair of purple shorts.
Lord Ganesha is worshipped by millions of Hindus worldwide. With the head of an elephant and the body of a human, Lord Ganesha is believed to be someone who ends all miseries, according to Hindu mythology.
Now, the 32 year-old-singer is being called out by religiously-sensitive netizens, insisting that their deity is not a decorative jewellery item to be worn so “inappropriately”.
rihanna !! stop using my religion as an aesthetic !! that ganesh figurine at the end of the chain :( is a holy and sacred figure for us hindus— kani 준‧₊ | STREAM WAY HOME MV (@09S00B) February 15, 2021
Super offensive wearing Ganesha like that. My first god, a holy sentiment to millions of people celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi every year. Sorry RiRi, you disappointed me and others.— daakkuuu (@Presenjeet26) February 15, 2021
it is and i’m disgusted at her for using our religion as her fkin aesthetic— Nikita⚡️ (@nikitaxpatel_) February 16, 2021
wearing that necklace, which depicts a hindu diety, is clearly cultural appropriation. my culture is not your aesthetic https://t.co/ccAhGcGH5q— resh⁷ ⟭⟬ ♡ ⟬⟭ (@kpopandtae) February 15, 2021
The controversial picture of Rihanna comes just four days after model Jhardan Reign posted some pictures of herself wearing lingerie and red wings in front of what appears to be a white Hindu ‘mandir’ (temple). In the now-deleted images, the model was shooting for Rihanna's make-up brand Fenty Beauty.
On the 3rd of February, Jhardan Reign, a model from the United States of America tweeted a set of photos on Instagram. The photos appeared to be a promotional shoot for Fenty, the company owned by #Rihanna.— Radhika Parashar (@_RadhikaReports) February 16, 2021
The pop star is being called our for using a 'Mandir' in the backdrop. pic.twitter.com/g2CCDEZJlS
Previously, the singer has been called out for inking a misspelled Sanskrit quote from the Bhagavad Gita, one of Hinduism's most revered scriptures, going down her right hip. Made in 2007, the Sanskrit tattoo was intended to translate into “forgiveness, honesty, suppression and control”.
Last week, Rihanna re-tweeted a news story on the internet shutdows in several areas of Delhi after a clash between farmer protesters and police officials turned violent on 26 January.
While some netizens applauded the music icon for supporting Indian farmers, India’s Ministry of External Affairs, in a statement, suggested foreign individuals should stay out of the country's internal matters.