Thursday, 19 March 2015

American beer Gandhi-Bot and outrage - brewery's response!!

Bandhi-Bot.Gandhi image on beer cans. www.youtube.com

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Young Barrister Mohandas Gandhi (1869 to 1948).www.mrdowling.com
About the highly hopped India Pale Ale made and marketed by a small New England brewery in Woodbridge, CT, USA  under the brand name of  ''Gandhi-blot'' using India's most revered  freedom fighter Gandhi's name to highlight the goodness of their famous brew, it is quite obvious, the controversial name had been visible on the market for  five long years  without any detection or objection whatsoever either by the Indian diaspora settled in N. America or by the ever-active Indian news media in India and the USA
That, it had failed to get the attention of the sensibilities of the people of Indian origin and the media, is quite surprising. ''Gandhi-Blot'' had already gained fair amount of publicity in the market all these years. It took an Indian lawyer from Hyderabad City, Telengana, S. India  to file a case (in the first week of January 2015) against the American Brewery to point out the glaring mistake and the mischievous use of  Gandhi's name for commercial exploitation of their new brew.
Gandhi-Bot,www.fobulous-usa.com
Following the lawsuit by the lawyer from India (Which does not come under the purview of American judiciary for court action), innumerable news media and some prominent Indian leaders in the US immediately took the cudgels against the New England brewery. I wish they had drawn the attention of the Connecticut Brewery long ago in the beginning itself. If that had happened at the outset, I am sure, the company would have changed the brand name and Gandhi's image long ago.The brewery's quick response, without any hesitation to the Indian law suit, and the recent media outbursts and its official announcement to withdraw the controversial brand name from the market is a positive move by a responsible manufacturer.The company understood the sentiments of the vast Indian community living there.  An American company  does not come under the purview of Indian laws and is not obligatory on its part to change its brand name that had been on the market for about 5 years.  However, the Hyderabad lawyer's petition has gotten the brewery's attention. At this juncture, the Brewery's positive action needs to be appreciated because the name involved is Gandhiji who is very close to the heart of very patriotic Indian, either living in India or overseas. 

The following are some of the  comments from the news media:

It took Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of the Great Soul, five years to object to a Connecticut craft beer called Gandhi-Bot. Tushar is unhappy as the Mahatma “abhorred alcohol drinking.”

...http://neilpendock.com/gandhi-carft-beer-outrage/   January 6, 2015

Bob Leonard is founder/owner, while Matt Westfall is the head brewer who created Gandhi-Bot beer. Its brews are claimed to be "loaded into over 300 bars and restaurants".

Company website states, "Gandhi-Bot'' is an intensely hopped double India pale ale with a blend of three varieties of American Hops. Aromatic and fully vegetarian, Gandhi-Bot is an ideal aid for self-purification and the seeking of truth and love."
Beer cans' image shows Gandhi's sketch with one hand raised  (as if he was blessing the ones who taste the beer carrying his name).

The company’s head brewer and partner Matt Westfall said the company apologizes if the sentiments of the Indian people have been hurt. 
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,” said Westfall.
Source: IBN

The brewery's website  promotes the Gandhi-Bot beer, which has been distributed about five years, as "fully vegetarian" and "an ideal aid for self-purification and the seeking of truth and love."
TV talk show host Conan O'Brien' irresponsible remarks.,Jan 05, 2015  www.connecticutmag.com
The beer also caught the attention of Conan O'Brien, who joked during his monolog on TBS Monday night that "the beer is so strong that after one beer you look at Gandhi and say 'Who's the hot bald chick with the glasses?"
...http://mashable.com/2015/01/06/gandhi-bot-beer/

 “After threats and some truly hurtful assumptions about the incredibly caring people that work for New England Brewing Company, we are working on finding the best way to amend this situation in a manner that both is respectful to those who are offended as well as a way that is manageable for our small company.”