New Delhi, Feb 18, 2023: Hindus feel that it is hugely insensitive for a Lausanne (Switzerland) headquartered restaurant chain selling beef burgers and naming itself “Holy Cow”.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that the cow, the seat of many deities, was sacred and had long been venerated in Hinduism.
It appeared to be a blatant trivialization and belittling of a deeply held article of faith by Hindus world over; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated.
Rajan Zed pointed out that restaurant chains should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. He urged “Holy Cow! Gourmet Burger Co.” (HCGBC) and its CEO Adrian Stadelmann to seriously and urgently reconsider its name so that it was not unsettling to the Hindu community.
Zed requested all 32 Swiss partners of HCGBC; including “Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland” in Le Bouveret, and delivery partners; “Just Eat”, “Uber Eats”, “smood.ch”; to withdraw their strategic partnership if HCGBC failed to reconsider its name. We did not want students of Culinary Arts Academy to take the message, that insensitivity about ‘others’ was okay, to their workplaces after they graduated.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled; Rajan Zed noted.
Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the devotees, Zed added.
Award-winning Swiss fresh gourmet burger chain HCGBC, launched in 2009, has 17 restaurants across Switzerland in Basel, Biel, Delemont, Fribourg, Geneva, Grancia, Lausanne, Lucerne, Sion, St-Gall, Villeneuve, Zurich Airport, Zurich. It sells 14 different beef burgers, including “Elvis”, and calls its grills “sacred”.