HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH/AP) — A Woodbridge brewery is receiving international attention for selling beer that uses the name and likeness of modern India’s founder, Mohandas Gandhi.
New England Brewing Company apologized over the weekend on its Facebook page for the beer called ‘Gandhi-Bot’, which it describes as an India pale ale. A lawsuit has been filed in Hyderabad, India, condemning the brewery’s use of Mahatma Gandhi’s name to sell the beer.
The brewery issued the following statement:
“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.
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. So many Indian people here in America love our tribute to him.
Gandhi’s granddaughter and grandson have seen the label, and have expressed their admiration of the label. We hope that you understand our true intent, and learn to respect our method and the freedom we have to show our reverence for Gandhi.”
Critics in both the U.S. and India have complained about the commercial use of Gandhi, revered for leading India to independence through nonviolence.
Proloy K. Das, a Hartford lawyer, tweeted that Connecticut “should be ashamed to be home” to New England Brewing. He did not immediately return a call or email seeking comment.