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Edited by on May 10 2011 at 8:02 AM

I don’t think a swimsuit has caused this much outrage since the advent of the bikini some 70 years ago. But the controversy stems not from the cut of the swimsuit but the depiction of the goddess Lakshmi, which has prompted quite a Hindu hubbub for Australian designer Lisa Blue.

Hindu Goddess Swimsuit Proves a Hin dont

Indian activists burned the Australian flag while holding up photocopies of Lisa Blue’s controversial Lakshmi-print maillot from her presentation at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week held in Sydney last week.

Rajan Zed, a Hindu statesman, released a statement condemning the one-piece :

“Lakshmi was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for pushing swimwear in fashion shows for mercantile greed of an apparel company.”

Hindu Goddess Swimsuit Proves a Hin dont

In return, Lisa Blue Swimwear issued an apology, pulled the designs and halted production of the suit, saying:

“The use of images of Goddess Lakshmi was not in any way a measure of calculated risk taking, simply it was a desire to celebrate different cultures and share that through our brand.”

And that’s exactly why you don’t celebrate different cultures. But seriously, religion is always, has always and will always be the touchiest of subjects for people, so it’s understandable that the Hindu community would be upset over the seeming commercialization of their faith.

But should Lisa Blue have stuck to her guns and kept the goddess Lakshmi bathing suit? Though she never intended the piece to be an inflammatory statement by any means, she has a right to her opinion and a right to express herself through her craft. Thoughts?

Well, either way, at least we all know a thing or two about Lisa Blue — no publicity is bad publicity.  [Daily Telegraph Australia, NY Daily News]

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Story by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester at