Hindus worldwide, perturbed over Brookvale Union Brewery’s ginger beer carrying juxtaposed images of Hindu deities Ganesh and Lakshmi, have thanked the company for apologizing and focusing on redesigning the beer.
US-based President of Universal Society of Hinduism, Rajan Zed, who spearheaded the protest against the New South Wales-based brewery, called the juxtaposed images of Ganesh and Lakshmi on a beer bottle “highly inappropriate”. He has thanked and commended the brewery for showing responsibility, respect and maturity by taking quick action in apologizing and announcing its redesign.
Zed added that such trivialization of Hindu deities was disturbing to Hindus world over. “Hindus believe in free expression and speech as, but faith is sacred and attempts at trivializing it torments devotees,” Zed said in his press statement released on 14 November and published in “Beer & Brewer” magazine from New South Wales. He added that businesses should be respectful to faiths.
In an email to Zed on 12 November, Brookvale Union wrote, “It was not intended to cause any offence. With the recent feedback brought to our attention, we will be re-designing our bottles and packaging. We have subsequently apologised for any distress caused and begun the process of removing the images from the website. We’re lovers, not fighters, we want to make it right. We are now focused on redesigning the ginger beer which hopefully all can be happy with!”
The Union has asked “graphic designers, artists, and even doodlers” to come up with a better design by 24 November, and is reportedly urging them not to use imagery that may be deemed offensive.
“It seems we have unintentionally offended our Hindu friends with the imagery on our ginger beer packaging. Brookvale Union is about great tasting, fun beverages and not about disrespecting anyone or their beliefs,” the statement added.