Following the recent terror attack on a French satirical magazine poking fun at the Prophet Muhammad, international Hindu community is calling for Brookvale Union Brewery based in Sydney to change the logo and images of its ginger beer carrying Hindu deities.
The beer labeling combined the head and body of two prominent deities of the Hindu religion, Ganesh and Lakshmi. The company website also had a flying Ganesh with its head wreathed in flames, which transforms into the head of Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. The ginger beer was meant to have “flair, feel and colours of the Asian continent”, according to the brewery.
A protest was brewing in the Sydney brewery in November last year. Hindu leaders demanded for an apology and urged the company to withdraw the images.
The brewery apologised shortly and promised to change the logo. The company said the images were not intended to cause offence.
The Asian Correspondent tried to reach the sales office of the brewery and ask about developments on logo and packaging redesign. According to the office, the “redesign is complete” and all imagery have been removed adding, “Nothing has been used since this time.” The flying elephant in the company website has also been revised.
Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduisnmi, a statement released in Nevada (USA) today, said the brewery is “inappropriately using the images in selling beer for mercantile greed.”
He added the inappropriate use of Hindu deities for commercial or other agenda is hurting devotees. “Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi were highly revered in Hinduism and they were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed,” he stressed out.
Zed insists the brewery did not stand with its promise to redesign their bottles and packaging, and removing the objectionable images from the website and thus “upsetting Hindus worldwide again.”
The sales office refutes this saying, “someone from the Hindu community outside of Australia must have seen an old image on the internet and went to the papers instead of emailing or calling us. If they had of been in Australia they only had to look in their local bottle shop to see the redesign and new labels.”
Zed is urging Brookvale Union to immediately remove the Ganesh-Lakshmi images from the beer label, packaging, and images in the website. He also demands the brewery to recall all the beer with Ganesh-Lakshmi images from the market and to re-apologize.
He also clarifies that Hindus respect democracy such as free expression and speech, but pointed out that faith is “something sacred and attempts at trivializing it tormented the devotees.”
Brookvale Union is said to have first founded in 1950. Its tagline is “Quality Nonsense” as it defines itself as “Complex yet simple, safe but dangerous, smooth yet sharp, tight but loose.” Its Ginger Beer (4.0% ABV) comes in 500 mL bottles in a box (also carrying same Ganesh-Lakshmi juxtaposed image) of 12 and is described as “Spicy yet mild, dry but wet, smooth yet sharp, tight but loose”.