Fashion brand Generation has come under fire for a recent social media post that featured in the background a disrespectfully edited image of a Hindu deity.
The brand uploaded an image from the farewell ceremony of an employee, where a picture of the employee's face was pasted on top of the deity's head and each of the deity's hands carried items, such as a laptop, cell phone, clothes on a hanger and a camera, ostensibly to show that the employee multitasked at work.
Obviously, this image is extremely disrespectful to Hindus.
The problem here is twofold: the picture itself is extremely disrespectful but outrage over the disrespect of Hinduism isn't proportionate to the usual level of rage when religion is insulted in Pakistan.
Though the brand issued an apology later, people didn't believe that was enough.
"We respect our viewers' diverse beliefs. Yesterday an image was posted that was not respectful to the Hindu community and we had no intention to be disrespectful to anyone's religious sentiments," read the apology.
"We wholeheartedly apologise to each and every person who’s sentiments that post hurt, it is not representative of us as human beings or as a brand. We are learning to be more respectful and considerate every day."
Users have been calling out the brand for its apology as well as the doctored image.
"Portraying our scared Mother Goddess picture, editing that with their filthy means. Such a shameless act is coming from this brand!" said Twitter user Sumeet Rathore, who questioned whether the outrage would be the same if similar disrespect was done to another religion.
"[The] irony is, growing apprehension and their small apology. We must be respectful to each other irrespective of religious affiliation. This is heartrending that a brand is seen to be engaged in religious hatred. Can anyone here justify the concept of apology later?" he asked.
Human rights activist Kapil Dev was among those that thought the apology was insufficient, saying, "Just wondering if a mere apology is enough to get away from this?"
Another Twitter user wondered why religion was being brought into jokes at all.
People also pointed out the hypocrisy in being offended when Zara's head designer made Islamophobic comments but not when a Pakistani brand mocked Hinduism.
As Pakistanis and human beings, we should be outraged when any religion is disrespected. That a local brand that prides itself on diversity and inclusivity did something like this is even more disappointing because it shows how little we respect other people's religions. No one's religion should be the butt of your joke and we wish our people didn't need to mess up so spectacularly to learn to be more respectful.