Belgium brewery apologizes over Ganesha icon

ganesh-beer-webCHICAGO: Indians across Chicaogland and across the globe have welcomed Belgium brewery, The Musketeers, rendering apology for using Lord Ganesh as icon representing its Jack’s Precious IPA beer.

Google translation of brewery’s (headquartered in Ursel, East Flanders) statement in Dutch, responding to criticism by Hindu community, published on their website, said: “The brewery wants to apologize when they unwittingly hurt a community”; and added that the beer label is “in no way intended to hurt anyone”.

Lord Ganesh’s image was shown on Jack’s Precious IPA (Alcohol: 5.9%, EBC: 20, IBU: 50) beer label carrying chef knife in one hand and sausage like object on the other, and brewery’s trade mark symbol on his head; a product of Ursel (East Flanders, Belgium) headquartered The Musketeers Brewery.

A group of Indian Americans here were highly upset and a protest spearheaded by Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, against the Lord Ganesha image on Jack’s Precious IPA beer label was lodged with the firm. They have now welcomed the brewery’s apology, calling it a step in the positive direction.

Rajan also pitched that the brewery should immediately withdraw the image of Lord Ganesha from the beer label, which was highly inappropriate.

If the Musketeers brewery continued to use Lord Ganesha icon on their beer, they were thinking of approaching the Commission on Marketing and Advertising of Belgium chapter of International Chamber of Commerce, Rajan Zed pointed out.

Lord Ganesha’s image carrying chef knife in one hand and sausage like object on the other and brewery’s trade mark symbol on his head continued to be shown on Jack’s Precious IPA beer label on brewery’s website.

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

Surendra Ullal

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