Upset Hindus are urging Langley Mill (Nottingham, England) based Bang the Elephant Brewing Co. to apologize and not use Hindu goddess Kali’s image on its East India Porter beer can, calling it “highly inappropriate”.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that goddess Kali was highly revered in Hinduism and she was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer.
Breweries should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply trivializing of immensely venerated Hindu goddess Kali to be portrayed on a beer label, Rajan Zed emphasized.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 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 noted.
Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers, Rajan Zed added.
In Hinduism, goddess Kali, who personifies Sakti or divine energy, is considered the goddess of time and change. Some Bengali poets described her as supreme deity.
Description of Kali Yuga East India Porter (5.9% ABV), priced at £4.50, includes: “A wicked blend of malts give this East India porter a unique flavour profile”. There is a mention on the can: “…being crushed under the powerful influence of Kali.”
Bang the Elephant Brewing Co., launched in 2017, describes itself as: “Neo-Victorian steampunk inspired brewers of finely crafted small batch beers.”