Hindus have criticised Norwegian brewery Berentsens Brygghus for printing the image of deity Lord Ganesha on its beer bottle labels.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, described the usage of Hindu deities or symbols for commercial purposes as inappropriate and “not okay as it hurts the devotees.”
The deity, the Hindu god of wisdom, is highly revered in Hinduism.
“Lord Ganesha is not to be used in selling beer,” Zed added. “Linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage is very disrespectful.”
Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed noted.
He said: “Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously.”
Berentsens Brygghus, based in Egersund on Norway’s southwest coast, was established in 1895 by Captain Wilhelm Berentsen and is run by the fourth generation Harald Berentsen as CEO.
Lord Ganesha’s image is used on the labelling of the brewery’s Bombay India Pale Ale.