Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kali-Ma beer controversy

Films are dangerous. Ask the person who named 'Kali-Ma', the beer named after the Hindu goddess Kali. The beer, by the Burnside Brewing Company based in Oregon (US), also has a picture of the goddess on the bottle. The beer was scheduled for a grand launch on May 15, but the news evoked a chain of fuming reactions from Indians all over the world and the company had to apologise for it. Now, the beer will be renamed and released later.

In its apology letter, the company wrote," In response to pleas from the Hindu community we have decided to postpone the limited release of 'Kali-ma' our imperial wheat ale flavoured with Indian spices and Scotch-Bonnet peppers. It is NEVER our intention at Burnside to offend or alienate any race, creed, religion or sexual orientation. The inspiration for the beer label simply came from a favourite childhood movie in the 'Indiana Jones' series and we were unaware that it could be offensive to anyone. We are currently scrambling to re-name the beer and intend to release it soon anyone we have offended we sincerely apologise.
Earlier, the beer advertisement said," Come worship 'the black one' Kali as the ultimate reality or Brahman this Tuesday!" with a picture of the Goddess with four arms and three severed heads.
Would you really get angry with this innocent company? After all, they were just launching a product, and the name and the picture of goddess Kali were expected to enhance the 'effect' of the beer. That was supposed to satisfy the consumers ultimately.
Secondly, it's just a matter of time before we lose the patent battle to some foreign organisation, so why cry over trivial issues!
Then, goddess Kali is a favourite overseas. Trust me, they adore her more than you do. Super(cool)model Heidi Klum was in such awe of the goddess that she used her as a prop in a nightclub. Can you find anyone other than Meera doing anything similar in our entire history?
Jim Carrey had demonstrated a sexual technique with the help of Lord Ganesha's trunk and Hindus thought he was mocking their religion. Come on, the skit was titled 'The Wrath of Ganesh'. It was about power, that too of masculine nature, at least men should be happy, no?
And yes, if you really want to do something, get Rajan Zed, a good writer. He must have been tired saying the same sentences every time.
Feel happy that they just named it 'Kali-Ma'. They could have added something more after 'Kali-Ma' and still you had to accept their apologies.

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