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Published: Thu, September 14, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

India asks Australia to remove offensive advertisement showing Lord Ganesha eating Lamb

India asks Australia to remove offensive advertisement showing Lord Ganesha eating Lamb

The Australian advertisement showing Lord Ganesha promoting consumption of lamb meat has been taken off air by YouTube.

The Indian high commission claimed that the advertisement was "offensive" and hurt the religious sentiments of the Indian community.

AMERICAN-BASED religious leaders protesting to Meat & Livestock Australia's latest "You Never Lamb Alone" video advertisement have received the backing of the Indian Government.

India's High Commission has lodged a complaint with Australia's departments of foreign affairs and trade, communication and arts, and agriculture about an "offensive" lamb advertisement.

Besides Zed; Senior Greek Orthodox Christian Priest Stephen R. Karcher, Buddhist Priest Matthew T. Fisher and well-known Jewish Rabbi in Nevada-California ElizaBeth Webb Beyer; also denounced lamb marketing using religious figures, which they said trivialized various religious figures; and urging withdrawal of the video ad.

While the deities, and Ron L Hubbard, sat around the table sharing food was meant to be a message of inclusivity, it angered many in Australia's Hindu community who described it as "ignorant and insensitive".

The High Commission of India in Canberra said it had made a formal diplomatic representation - a "demarche" in consular jargon - to three Australian government departments, the BBC reports.

Australia's advertising watchdog has already received a number of complaints about the ad which was released last week.

An Australian television advertisement for roast lamb has prompted a backlash from Hindus and a protest from the Indian government, outraged that Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God, is depicted eating meat and drinking wine. Prophet Muhammad, we are told by the atheist in the ad, could not make it.

However, the MLA defended the advert, saying it had aimed to promote diversity and unity. "Our current record is in tact, we have never had any of our work pulled so we will work hard to prove our case and show that our intentions were not to offend but to be inclusive and present a unified Australia and allow the ASB board to, hopefully, rule in our favour", said Howie.

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.

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