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Upset Hindus urge Missouri brewery to remove Lord Ganesha image from beer & apologize

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Upset Hindus are urging Springfield (Missouri) based award-winning Springfield Brewing Company (SBC) to apologize and not use Hindu deity Lord Ganesha’s image on its Bombay Brown IPA beer, calling it highly inappropriate.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada 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 Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed. Moreover, linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful, Zed added.

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 venerated Hindu deity Lord Ganesha to be portrayed on a beer label sporting a wine/beer glass in one hand, Zed added.

In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.

“Bombay Brown” (13 degrees Plato, 35 IBUs, 5.5% by volume) is described as a “session-strength IPA with piney, citrus, and floral notes of American hops balanced by bread-like aromas from a blend of dark malt”. It is stated to be a perfect “complement to our sweet and spicy pizza, The Maui Wowie”.

Story behind it given on the SBC website goes as: The artwork for this beer features Ganesha, the Hindu deity revered as the Remover of Obstacles and more generally as the lord of beginnings and the lord of obstacles, patron of arts and sciences, and deva of intellect and wisdom. Brewing is often described as a blend of art and science and Ganesha is a fitting symbol of the brewers’ art.

Besides at the site, the beer manufactured by SBC, a craft brewery in downtown Springfield since 1997, is claimed to be sold in various stores in Missouri and Arkansas; including Wal-Mart, HyVee, Lucky’s Market, Macadoodles, Price Cutter, Harter House, etc. Ashton Lewis is the Master Brewer.

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