Upset Hindus are urging Phnom Penh (Cambodia) based Hanuman Beverages to apologize and withdraw beer named after Hindu deity Hanuman and carrying his image, calling it 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 Hanuman was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer. Moreover, linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful, Zed added.
Breweries should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply trivializing of immensely venerated Hindu deity Lord Hanuman to be portrayed on a beer label, Rajan Zed emphasized.
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; Zed noted.
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 were insensitive, Rajan Zed added.
In Hinduism, Lord Hanuman is known for incredible strength and was a perfect grammarian.
Award-winning Hanuman Beverages, whose tagline is “greatness in every drop”, reportedly sells Hanuman beer in two varieties—Premium Lager and Black—and in both bottles and cans; and claims to be “Cambodian beverage master who commits to creating best-in-class beverages that innovate new tastes for the Cambodian people”. Sarsileap Khieu is the chairwoman.