Gandhi-Bot Beer: Consumer activist moves court

Mumbai, Jan 29 (IANS) A consumer activist Thursday filed a complaint against America’s New England Brewing Company, which sparked a controversy by using a picture of Mahatma Gandhi on its beer cans and selling them in certain parts of India.

Consumer Guidance Society of India media cell chief Viveck Shettyy lodged the complaint before the Metropolitan Magistrate of 66th Court in Andheri, invoking relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
“Gandhi ji is father of our nation and we all hold him in great respect. I am deeply shocked and outraged by the use of his picture on beer cans of ‘Gandhi-Bot’ sold in our country,” Shettyy told IANS.
He said it was particularly insulting as Gandhi had abstained from alcohol all his life and even advocated prohibition. The beer company’s action was a mockery of his principles and values of life, he added.
“It is all the more ironic that while (US) President Barack Obama has been deeply inspired by Gandhi ji as he has repeatedly said in his speeches, an American brewery should stoop to such unethical levels for brand promotions and sales,” Shettyy said.
In the market for nearly five years, the Gandhi-Bot beer has been promoted as fully vegetarian and the company last week announced that it would rename the product.
Referring to apology tendered by the company recently to those who found it “insensitive”, Shettyy claimed it serves no purpose and he would appeal to the court to impose a ban on the beer.
Shettyy also questioned the concerned authorities which gave permission for the product which has defamed Gandhi.