Upset Hindus are urging Winston-Salem (North Carolina) headquartered Incendiary Brewing Company to apologize and withdraw beer named after Hindu deity Kali and carrying her reimagined image, calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that 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. Moreover, linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful, Zed added.
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, Rajan Zed emphasized.
Hinduism was 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; Zed noted.
Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it were insensitive, Rajan Zed added.
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. There are about three million Hindus in the USA.
“Kali the Destroyer Mango Lassi IPA”, available both as draft and in cans in Winston-Salem brewery, was described as IPA with Vic Secret, Citra, Sabro; Mango, Vanilla, lactose 7.5% ABV.
Incendiary Brewing Company currently has two locations—Winston-Salem and Lewisville. The Raleigh location is said to be coming in fall. Founded by Brandon Branscome and John Bacon in 2018, it sells wines also besides beers and organizes various events and shows.