Tweedbank (Galashiels, Scottish Borders, Scotland) based Tempest Brewing Co. apologized within 15 minutes of Hindu protest over its Lord Ganesha image carrying “India Pils” beer, calling it “highly inappropriate”.
Gavin Meiklejohn, Founder & Director of the brewery, in an email on November 30 to distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, wrote:…we would like to offer our apologies to yourself and the wider Hindu community… we will remove all written references to Ganesha from our marketing of this beer and will look to change the artwork before its next release.”
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, thanked Tempest Brewing Co. for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought associating Lord Ganesha with such a product was highly insensitive.
Rajan Zed suggested that companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.
Zed had said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Rajan Zed had indicated that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed. Moreover, linking Lord Ganesha with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Zed had noted.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.
“India Pils” Brew Sheet on the brewery website pointed out: ABV 5.2%; Bitterness 30 IBU; Malt—Golden Promise, Wheat, Flaked Oats; Suitable for Vegans. “Channel your inner Ganesha and overcome all obstacles with our hoppy pilsner. Clean, cold and crisp fermentation meets juicy dry hops and refreshing bitterness. With a crisp, fruity hop flavour and great drinkability, you’ll be at peace in no time. Namaste!” its website description stated. Its can was priced at £3.10.
This awards-winning craft brewery, established in 2010, claims to “make creative beers inspired by the world” and states that its beers are “Vegan Friendly”. Besides its retail shop and online sales, its “beer is available in many bars and bottle shops across the UK and abroad”.
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