Upset Hindus have urged Brookvale (New South Wales, Australia) based “Brookvale Union” brewery to apologize and withdraw its ginger beer carrying juxtaposed images of Hindu deities Ganesh and Lakshmi, calling it highly inappropriate.
Label at this ginger beer bottle juxtaposes image of Lord Ganesh’s face and Goddess Lakshmi’s body, besides displaying various other Hindu religious symbols.
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.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi 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.
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, Rajan Zed argued.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. Lakshmi is the goddess of good fortune and beauty and is also known as ‘world-mother’. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.
Brookvale Union, reportedly first founded in 1950, and said to be “always open”, defines itself as “Complex yet simple, safe but dangerous, smooth yet sharp, light but loose”. Its Ginger Beer comes in 500 mL bottles in a box (also carrying same Ganesh-Lakshmi juxtaposed image) of 12 and is described as “Spicy yet mild, dry but wet, smooth yet sharp, tight but loose…”.
Brookvale, a suburb of northern Sydney in Warringah Council, is part of Northern Beaches region.