Association of Spanish Home Brewers (ACCE) has apologized and recalled the poster carrying image of Hindu deity Lord Ganesh to promote its “IPA Day 2020” event to be held in Burgos (Spain) on September 19; which protesting Hindus had called “highly inappropriate”.
Manuel Jim., ACCE (Asociación de Cerveceros Caseros Españoles) Secretary, in an email to distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed (who spearheaded the protest), wrote: We apologize, from the heart, for any inconvenience we may have caused. We never wanted to hurt any religious worship and we will recall all the IpaDay advertisements according to your indications. Of course, we will stop using this religious image from now to the future, and we will not use it again in any of our initiatives.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, thanked ACCE for understanding the concerns of Hindu community, which thought that such image of Lord Ganesh promoting a beer event was quite out-of-line.
Rajan Zed suggested that associations and companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of communities and customers when launching advertising campaigns or introducing new products.
Zed had said that inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu symbols or deities or concepts or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Rajan Zed had indicated that Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in a re-imagined version for pushing a beer event. Moreover, linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage was very insensitive, Zed added.
Brewer associations should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply disrespectful of divine Hindu deity to be displayed on a poster promoting beer event with hops covering his head, beer mixing stirrer paddle in one hand and Erlenmyer flask presumably carrying yeast starter in another hand; Zed had emphasized.
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 had noted.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.
Non-profit ACCE, founded in 2009 and headquartered in La Palma (Murcia, Spain), is Spain’s national association of brewers united by “love of making beer at home”.
ACCE has reportedly proposed several beer related activities and contests at this “India Pale Ale Day 2020”, including a contest of selfie photographs.