Upset Hindus have urged Leuven (Belgium) headquartered leading global brewer Anheuser-Bush InBev to change the name of its popular “Brahma” 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.
In Hinduism, the creator god Lord Brahma, along with Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, forms the great triad of Hindu deities. Linking Lord Brahma with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.
Rajan Zed stressed that Lord Brahma was highly revered in Hinduism, meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed.
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 lightly. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Zed argued.
Moreover, the sacredness attached to Lord Brahma did not go well with raunchy commercials and ads of “Brahma” beer, Rajan Zed noted. Hollywood celebrities Megan Fox and Jennifer Lopez have acted in “Brahma” beer commercials.
Anheuser-Bush InBev, which claims heritage dating back to 1366, produces 400 million hectoliters of over 200 beer brands. “Brahma” is claimed to be the ninth in the top beer brands worldwide and sixth biggest in the company after Bud LIght, Budweiser, Corona, Skol and Stella Artois. “Brahma”, the official beer of Brazilian football and available in over 30 countries, was created by Swiss immigrant Joseph Villager in Brazil in 1888. Carlos Brito and Kees J. Storm are CEO and Chairman respectively of Anheuser-Bush InBev, one of the world’s top five consumer product companies with revenue of about $40 billion.