Upset Hindus are urging Curitiba (Paraná, Brazil) based Siphon Growlers to apologize and withdraw beer growlers displaying images of Lord Ganesha and sacred Om, calling these 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 Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used as a beer container/carrier. Moreover, linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful, Zed added.
Hugely venerated Om was the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism was used to introduce and conclude religious work. Usually considered the most powerful mantra in Hinduism, Om had been equated with brahman, isvara, atman, etc.; Rajan Zed noted.
Growler companies should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply trivializing of immensely venerated Hindu deity Lord Ganesha and sacred Om to be portrayed on a beer growler, Zed emphasized.
Rajan Zed further said that 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.
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 hurt the followers, Zed stated.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as God of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.
Objectionable Ganesha ceramic and glass growlers were priced from BRL 98.60 to R$ 144.55 at Simon Growlers, which sells growlers and accessories and claims “largest variety of growlers”. English translation of its website states: “Our Ganesha Black ceramic growler is specially designed for the transport and storage of fresh craft beer and can be taken anywhere conveniently and easily… keeps the beer at the ideal temperature and prevents damage caused by light”.