The job of being President of the Universal Society of Hinduism (USofH) entails – among other important things – admonishing companies for messing with Hindu deities.
And US-based Rajan Zed, above, who heads the USofH, is a nothing if not a world champion admonisher.
Earlier this year he had a right go at Amazon for selling stockings bearing the image of Lord Ganesha – and within two days they were withdrawn from sale.
Zed – a “Hindu statesman” – graciously thanked Amazon for “understanding the concerns of the Hindu community” which felt the image of Lord Ganesha on such a product was “highly insensitive”.
But he then put the boot in by demanding a formal apology from Amazon President Jeffrey P Bezos, saying that this was not the first time the company had offered products that Hindu devotees found “offensive”.
Zed suggested that Amazon and other companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.
Elsewhere, Zed was quoted as saying that Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivialising it hurt the followers.
Well, Zed’s back in the news, this time over a “highly inappropriate” beer being produced in Italy.
The company – Pontino Brewery (Birrificio Pontino) – is upsetting Hindus by marketing a “Sons of Shiva” brew with Lord Ganesha on the label.
Zed said in a statement that Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed.
Moreover, linking a Hindu deity with an alcoholic beverage was “very disrespectful”.
In Hinduism, Lord Shiva, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, are “the great triad of Hindu deities”. Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.
After being alerted to this report, I wondered whether there were any beer labels out there that would have Christians trumpeting their disapproval – and found these two:
First brewed in 2011, the Sweet Baby Jesus* is bronze award-winning chocolate peanut butter porter. It is jet black in colour with, according to the brewer’s blurb:
A tan, rocky head, full body, and creamy, luxurious mouthfeel. Its lightly sweet, malty flavor is accented by rich flavors of chocolate, coffee, and peanut butter, balanced by a subtle hop character and a moderate 6.2% ABV. Sweet Baby Jesus finishes smooth, dry, and roasty with lingering notes of chocolate and peanut butter so savory, you will exclaim its name!
While playing the porcelain tuba?
According to this site:
There is a village of ‘F*cking’ in Austria. And ‘Helles’ is actually a beer style, referring to a light Austrian or southern German lager. But this is a pilsner. Made in Germany. Spelled ‘Hell’. ‘Nuf said.
* Not to be confused with the Sweet Baby Jesus butt plug.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn