Brewery Sorry for Gandhi Beer

New England Brewing Co. hasn't said it will take Gandhi-Bot brew off shelves
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2015 1:26 PM CST
Brewery Sorry for Gandhi Beer
The New England Brewing Company has apologized for its Gandhi-Bot beer, but it hasn't announced it will take it out of production.   (New England Brewing Company website)

There are many ways to honor the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, but a US brewery is now apologizing after an Indian man took offense to its hops homage. Lawyer Sunkari Janardhan Goud filed a complaint in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad that claims the New England Brewing Company's "Gandhi-Bot" beer—an India pale ale that's branded with a robotic-looking depiction of the late pacifist leader—is "condemnable" and should be punished according to Indian law, the BBC reports. Although the "aromatic and fully vegetarian" beer is described on the brewery's website as "an ideal aid for self-purification and the seeking of truth and love," Goud contends that the use of Gandhi's likeness mars his image and violates the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, the Hindustan Times reports.

Part of the problem: Gandhi shunned liquor. In a letter up for auction last year from the leader to his oldest son, he wrote, "I wish that you better die rather than resort to alcohol in any manner," the Times of India reported. In a Saturday Facebook post, the brewery addressed the issue, stating that "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." The company adds: "We apologize to any Indian people that find our Gandhi-Bot label offensive. Our intent is not to offend anyone but rather pay homage and celebrate a man who we respect greatly." The post then claims that "Gandhi's granddaughter and grandson have seen the label and have expressed their admiration"—though, as the BBC notes, no one's really sure which grandkids those may be. (Gandhi's blood was for sale back in 2013.)

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