Upset Hindus have urged Belgium-based brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev to change the name of its popular ‘Brahma’ beer brewed in Brazil, calling it highly inappropriate to their religion.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that in Hinduism; Lord Brahma, along with Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva; formed the great triad of Hindu deities. He added that linking Lord Brahma with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful.
It’s the latest in a string of protests by the religious group that have called for name changes or product boycotts on a host of things featuring Hindu deities that have included men’s swimming trunks, a Puma campaign featuring Selena Gomez and even toilet seat covers.
Zed said in a statement: “Anheuser-Busch InBev should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. 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.”
Moreover, the sacredness attached to Lord Brahma did not go well with raunchy commercials and ads of “Brahma” beer, Rajan Zed said. Hollywood celebrities Megan Fox and Jennifer Lopez have reportedly acted in “Brahma” beer commercials.
Sed added that Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 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.
“What happened to the Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Responsible Marketing Code of ‘be sensitive to cultural differences’, claims of creating ‘a community that inspires, respects and includes one another’, and whose ‘Dream’ is ‘to bring people together for a better world’? Zed asked.
Portfolio of Anheuser-Busch InBev, a publicly traded company, includes over 500 beer brands like Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, Beck’s, Hoegaarden, Leffe, Michelob, Ultra, etc. One of the world’s top consumer product companies, it claims a heritage of over 600 years and its reported revenue in 2019 was $US52.3 billion USD.
“Brahma” was created by Swiss immigrant Joseph Villager in Brazil in 1888. Brahma family of beers, “known throughout Brazil: beer number 1”, has eight beer options; including Chopp, Double Malt, Weiss, Red Lager, Lager, Chopp Claro, Chopp Black, Malzbier.
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