Upset Hindus are urging Artes (Barcelona, Spain) based microbrewery Societat Cervesera Artesenca to apologize and remove the image of Hindu deity Lakshmi from its MandarIPA beer, calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) 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 Lakshmi 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 deity Lakshmi to be portrayed on a beer label, Rajan Zed emphasized.
Moreover, showing goddess Lakshmi holding hops fruit in her hand instead of traditional lotus was offensive, Zed noted.
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; Rajan Zed stated.
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, Zed added.
Lakshmi is the goddess of good fortune and beauty in Hinduism and is also known as ‘world-mother’. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.
MandarIPA beer, whose ingredients include tangerines, is priced at €2.18 at the website of Societat Cervesera Artesenca, whose history goes back to 2008.