CHICAGO: Langley Mill (Nottingham, England) based Bang the Elephant (BTE) Brewing Co. has apologized after a protest over using goddess Kali’s image on its East India Porter beer can.
BTE Brewing Co., in an e mail to Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism spearheading the protest said, “ …we would like to offer our sincerest apologies for any offence this has caused the International Hindu Community…it absolutely was not our intention to cause offence…we are willing to work with you to alter future releases of this beer…
Rajan said, goddess Kali was highly revered in Hinduism and she was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer.
Breweries should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply trivializing of immensely venerated Hindu goddess Kali to be portrayed on a beer label, Zed had emphasized.
Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 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, goddess Kali, who personifies Sakti or divine energy, is considered the goddess of time and change. Some Bengali poets described her as supreme deity.
Description of Kali Yuga East India Porter (5.9% ABV), priced at £4.50, included: “A wicked blend of malts give this East India porter a unique flavor profile”. There was a mention on the can: “…being crushed under the powerful influence of Kali.”
BTE Brewing Co., launched in 2017, described itself as: “Neo-Victorian steampunk inspired brewers of finely crafted small batch beers.”