KEMAH, TX: Anti-Hindu signs at Kemah (Texas) restaurant of “Dairy Queen” (DQ), which had upset Hindus worldwide, have now been removed. This follows a huge protest by a large group of Indian Americans led by Rajan Zed and others who felt that the posters were highly inflammatory and inappropriate.
Dean A. Peters, Associate Vice President of Communications of American Dairy Queen Corporation headquartered in Minneapolis, in an email to Rajan said: “We are pleased to announce that as of Wednesday, March 30th, the DQ location in Kemah, Texas is now under new ownership and all interior and exterior signs posted by the former franchisee have been removed.”
Dairy Queen’s corporate office called the installment of the signs an “unfortunate action” and said they are “not representative of our iconic family brand. Further DQ do not condone this type behavior.
An American Muslim citizen hailing from Pakistan, was the previous franchisee and for the past six months, Mohammad Dar, 65, posted signs at Dairy Queen Restaurant brandishing Hinduism as a racist force. Some of the messages, displayed on tall panels, mentioned Hinduism specifically and accused it of being based on racism. Dar taped more messages near the register, on the drive-through window and placed a large sign outside of the restaurant in the parking lot.
Dar is credited with the view that he had posted the signs after “researching” Hinduism – the third-largest religion in the world – for 14 years. He reportedly said the signs at his Kemah, Texas, Dairy Queen seek to showcase the wrongs of certain religions, specifically Hinduism.
The Hindus of Greater Houston, Hindu American Foundation and Diversity USA, welcomed a change in ownership at the Dairy Queen eatery and the withdrawal of controversial signs.They urged Dairy Queen to incorporate policies and procedures in their franchisee agreement to prevent such a situation from happening again.
Madhu Patel, president of the NRI Press Club said the zealots and bigots are “unable to comprehend the deep knowledge of our sages’ wisdom”. These copycats pick parts of the wisdom and then mis-quote their sayings and create their gangs of followers. “They remind me of Owl who has never seen the Sun but claims to know world all around. Cubic Zirconia can never be Real Diamonds and as the old saying goes “the real value of a Diamond can be fathomed only by a Jeweler and not by any Tom, Dick & Harry.”
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard observed that the protest from Indian Americans has paid high dividends in causing Dairy Queen to force the owner to sell his franchise.
Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, thanked International Dairy Queen (IDQ) Inc. for understanding the feelings of the community and resolving the issue. He pointed out that DQ appeared to have been shirking from its responsibility by not formally apologizing for allowing these derogatory signs reportedly posted at its Kemah store for many months. DQ seemed to have even failed to follow its own “Mission Statement: To create positive memories for all who touch DQ” by permitting such disparaging signs.
He urged IDQ Inc. CEO John P. Gainor Junior to come up with an official apology and institute a mechanism in its franchise operations ensuring that such belittling of religions did not happen in the future. Posters reportedly displayed at its Kemah store were highly inappropriate and trivialized the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a highly philosophical thought.
International Dairy Queen Inc.; based in Minneapolis; is a subsidiary of Omaha headquartered Berkshire Hathaway Inc.; serving treats and food in over 6,600 locations in USA, Canada and 28 other countries since 1940. Warren E. Buffett is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
India Post News Service