Upset Hindus are urging Amsterdam (The Netherlands) based micro-brewery Walhalla to apologize and withdraw its “Shakti” (Double India Pale Ale) beer; calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that Shakti (or Devi—a general term for the Goddess as supreme/principal/absolute deity; which include Durga, Lakshmi, Kali, Saraswati, etc.) was highly venerated in Hinduism since Vedic times and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer.
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, Rajan Zed noted.
It was deeply trivializing of immensely revered Goddess to be portrayed on a beer label like this, Zed stated.
Goddesses find mention in Rig-Veda, the oldest of Hinduism’s extant texts. Texts such as Devimahatmya, etc., glorify the Goddess as the supreme being and detail her all-pervading primordial powers.
Awards-winning Walhalla Craft Beer BV, North of Amsterdam, whose tagline is “Brewing The Gods’ Favorite Ales”, claims “Bold and magical beers, thirst-quenching and pure”. Aart van Bergen is founder and brewer.
Walhalla describes year-round extra-strong Shakti as “the beloved beer of the mother goddess Shakti” … “mysteriously smooth and overwhelms you with seductive hop aromas” … “Gold & Hoppy; Bitter & Sweet; Full & Strong”. It is apparently available in can, bottle, “on tap” and “in the tanks”. A Shakti bottle online was priced at €2.99.