The Foundation Room, the owners of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Wednesday announced that they will remove statues of various Hindu and Jain deities from the venue after religious leaders, social media users objected to the highly inappropriate and disrespectful display of their deities.
Recently, social media users had shared images of the Buzzy cocktail lounge at Las Vegas and expressed their disappointment over the disrespect shown towards the Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, by the owners of Foundation Room at their hotel in Las Vegas.
One social media user named Abhishek Jain posted images of people posing indecently and posting images with the idols in ways that were hurtful for all the Jains across the world.
It sickens me that the owners of @FRLasVegas have put an idol of Lord Mahaveer in their hotel & are disrespecting our God. People are posing & posting pics with our idol in ways we are very hurtful to all Jains across the world. Something needs to be done. RT to spread this 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/HtLEiLhWoE— Abhishek Jain (@iabhishek_j) June 24, 2020
Jain also shared another set of images, where it was seen that it was not just the idols of Lord Mahavira, but also the Hindu deity of Lord Ganesha, which was being disrespected at the premises. The deity of the Lord Ganesha was placed in an area where cocktails are being served.
Those people who think that it doesn’t bother them as they might not be Jains, then here the pics of Lord Ganesh being used in a party where where cocktails are served. They hurting sentiments of both Hindus and Jains.@FRLasVegas needs to respectfully remove these idols pic.twitter.com/RUFg4WMaJv— Abhishek Jain (@iabhishek_j) June 24, 2020
Soon, several social media users joined the chorus to demand the Foundation Room to remove the idols and issue an apology for hurting the sentiments of Jains and Hindus by disrespecting their religious faiths.
Religious leaders from various faith object
Reportedly, there were objections from groups in Northern Nevada, especially by the religious leaders, who urged for the removal of a religion-themed statue from The Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay.
In a joint statement, five local religious leaders said that “placing highly revered Hindu and Jain deities to adorn a casino night-club was very disrespectful, out-of-line, and could be disturbing to the adherents of these faiths”.
These five leaders include Nevada’s Greek Orthodox Christian Priest Stephen R Karcher, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, prominent Buddhist Priest Matthew T. Fisher, well-known Jewish Rabbi Elizabeth Webb Beyer and renowned Jain leader Sulekh C Jain.
Foundation Room issues apology, to remove statues
Following the outrage, the Foundation Room on Wednesday put out a statement announcing that it would remove the statues and also apologised for hurting sentiments. The Foundation Room said that they were removing the statue of Mahavira from their premises.
However, the tweet put out by them did not speak of the disrespect shown towards the Hindu deity of Lord Ganesha, a statue which has been placed at the bar.
“The Foundation Room’s two-decade plus tradition of promoting racial and spiritual harmony through love, peace, truth, righteousness and non-violence is more important than ever. We deeply apologize to those who are offended by recent images and we will work diligently to ensure such insensitive depictions don’t happen again. Specifically, we are removing the statue Mahavira from our premises. We have always strived to promote dialogue to bring us closer together and are committed to this sentiment moving forward,” the statement read.