A British cosmetic brand has launched a line of products, with one of them having a caricature of slain Indian forest brigand Veerappan on the label, to highlight the unethical practices involved in the supply chain of perfumes used in western countries, The Times of India reported.
UK-based Lush, which had launched a line of products including perfumes and body sprays called "Smugglers Soul" in 2014, has named a moustache wax Veerappan.
According to the company which has 900 stores in the UK and 48 other countries, the vegan moustache wax will "add a daring and debonair twist to your facial hair". "Veerappan works wonders to soften split ends too!," reads the description of the product on the company's website.
John, a staffer at the Islington store of Gorilla Perfumes, a group company of Lush, told TOI, "It [Smuggler's Soul] highlights the illegal trading and smuggling that is happening in the sandalwood trade and also other issues surrounding it."
However, the company's marketing theme has been criticised by many for glorifying the infamous ivory and sandalwood smuggler who was killed in 2004.
An online petition called Tell LUSH Cosmetics: Don't Glorify Elephant Poaching!, has gathered over 64,000 signatures till now.
The petition states, "Veerappan made a name for himself smuggling sandalwood and ivory. In his lifetime, he killed 1,000 elephants and 138 people, including 32 policemen who stood in the way of his crimes. Thanks to his influence and 'legend,' poaching and smuggling have increased in his territory following his death.
Now, LUSH Cosmetics is glorifying the figure, describing him as romantic, soulful and intoxicating. Given their vocal stance against animal testing, it seems hypocritical to use a notorious poacher's likeness to sell their products. Please sign the petition to urge LUSH Cosmetics to drop all references to Veerappan in their line of products!"