English, Fake News

This image of sandals featuring Lord Ganesha is old; they were withdrawn from the market 20 years ago


An image of a pair of sandals with images of Lord Ganesha on them is being shared on social media calling for widespread sharing of this photo until the company that designed these sandals gets closed. This article aims to discover the facts behind this claim and verify its veracity.

Claim: A picture of sandals printed with Lord Ganesha’s images, and a call for the closure of the company responsible for designing these sandals.

Fact: The sandals in question were designed and released in the American market almost two decades ago by American Eagle Outfitters. However, due to severe backlash from the Hindu community in the USA, the company decided to withdraw the sale of these sandals from the market. Therefore, the claim made in the post is Misleading.

The image of sandals featuring Lord Ganesha that is currently circulating is not a recent occurrence. These sandals were designed and released by American Eagle Outfitters almost two decades ago. However, following significant backlash from the Hindu community, the company withdrew them from the market and issued an apology. 

We conducted a reverse image search to delve deeper into the details surrounding this photo, leading us to a closed petition on Change.org. The petition, filed eight years ago, called for the recall of these sandals and stated that American Eagle Outfitters had indeed withdrawn them from the market in 2003, accompanied by an apology.

Further research on the internet led us to an article published by Harvard University in 2003, titled “Hindus Protest over Sande(a)ls with Ganesha Images.” This article documented American Eagle Outfitters’ apology to an organization called American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD) for their use of Lord Ganesha on Flip-Flops.

Moreover, several forums (here and here) and websites discussed the withdrawal of these Lord Ganesha sandals by American Eagle in 2003. The journal for the study of Hinduism, Nidan, even featured the public apology issued by Neil Bulman, Vice President and General Counsel for American Eagle Outfitters, which can be read here.

To sum up, the claim made in this social media post urging the closure of the company for printing sandals with Lord Ganesha’s images is based on outdated information, and the concerned company apologized in 2003.  


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