After an Indian advocate filed a petition against an American New England Brewing Company for using Mahatma Gandhi’s image on one of its beer bottles alleging it as an insult, the company apologised for the same. The petition was slated to come up for hearing today, on Monday.
The beer bottles and cans are branded as Gandhi-bot. While it received protest from Indians, even from the residents of US, the company claimed that its intention was to pay homage to the Father of the Nation and celebrate the apostle of peace.
Matt Westfall, head brewer and partner at the New England Brewing Company, said, “We do apologise if the good people of India find our Gandhi-Bot label offensive. Our intent is not to offend anyone but rather pay homage and celebrate a great man who we respect greatly. We take great care in creating a product we hope will not be abused in the manner that Mahatma Gandhi spoke of when referencing alcohol.”
According to the company, Gandhi-Bot is an intensely hopped double India pale with a blend of three varieties of American Hops. It says, Gandhi-Bot, which is aromatic and fully vegetarian, is an ideal aid for self-purification and teh seeking of truth and love.
Meanwhile, the case filed by Advocate Janardhan Reddy points out the issue as a punishable offence under the “Prevention of insults to national honour” act, 1971 in the Indian Penal Code. The case was filed in the XI Metropolitan Magistrate court of Hyderabad.
According to reports, Westfall said “We hope that not only our product is consumed responsibly with fine food and friends but that they are also inspired to learn more about Mahatma Gandhi and his non-violent methods of civil disobedience. So many Indian people here in American love our tribute to the great man.”
Westfall also claimed that granddaughter and grandson of Gandhi have seen the label and “have expressed their admiration of the label.” He added, “We hope that you understand our true intent and respect the method and the freedom we have to show our reverence for Gandhi.”
However, as per reports, the company’s products are not sold internationally.