Brazil brewery removed Ganesha & Vishnu beers from website after Hindu protest

Amparo (Sao Paulo, Brazil) based “award-winning” Cervejaria Ashby brewery seems to have removed beers carrying images of Hindu deities Ganesha and Vishnu within few days of Hindu protest, as these were not seen on its website on December 28.

“Ganesha Ambar IPA” and “Vishnu Red IPA” beers, when available on Ashby website, carried the picture of respective Hindu deity.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who spearheaded the protest asking for withdrawal of objectionable Ganesha and Vishnu beers, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, thanked Cervejaria Ashby for understanding the concerns of Hindu community, which thought names-images of Hindu deities on beer bottles were highly inappropriate.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, however, stated that a formal apology from Cervejaria Ashby to the upset Hindu community was still due.

Rajan Zed suggested Cervejaria Ashby and other companies to send their 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 earlier 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 and Lord Vishnu 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. Moreover, linking these deities with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful, Zed added.

Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one 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.

Cervejaria Ashby, which described itself as “Brazilian breakfast tradition since 1993” and claimed to be the “first microbrewery in Brazil”, stated: The Brewery unites the tradition of the best brewery schools in the world with the Brazilian flavor. Ashby; whose products included beer, chopps and California cooler; claimed to have over 100 distributors serving the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, Paraná and Goiás. Scott Alan Ashby, founder and master-brewer of the brewery, was stated to have graduated as a brewmaster at California University. It claimed to be “inspired by the North American and European breweries” and used water from Serra da Mantiqueira.

When available of website, Vishnu Red IPA, with 45 IBU, was stated to have alcohol content of 5.8%; while Ganesha Ambar IPA, with 40 IBU, was shown with alcohol content of 5.4%. Amparo, known for its Winter Festival, is the seat of Roman Catholic Diocese of Amparo.

In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. Lord Vishnu is “preserver” in the Hindu triad with Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva as the aspect of the Supreme, and he has ten incarnations to establish dharma (divine law). Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.

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