Strongly objecting to a US company launching a beer brand named after Goddess Kali, a demand was made in Rajya Sabha [a legislative body sort of halfway between the Senate and House of Lords] today that US Ambassador to India should be summoned and asked to apologise for it.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) said it is a serious and sensitive issue that a Portland-based company Burnside Brewing has launched a product titled Kali-Ma beer, hurting the sentiments of Indians...
"Summon US Ambassador to India... and make him apologise for this," he said condemning the act and demanded a statement from External Affairs Minister.
The way I read this is that certain Indian politicians have a larger beef with the way Hindu gods are used by American companies generally--not this case in particular:
The whole thing counts as a social issue in India. The BJP is the Hindu nationalist party, sort of like the GOP if the GOP were made up exclusively of Christian conservatives. In other words, pique over American insensitivity is smack-dab in the center of their wheelhouse. Think what Rick Santorum might do with a racy picture of Mary on a bottle of beer.
Earlier also a picture of Goddess Laxmi was displayed in a toilet... picture of God was put on bra... Lord Ganesha was displayed as a sex object in a talk show," he said demanding India to take up the issue with US.
I feel for Burnside, who had every reason to believe their release of a single-batch beer to the citizens of a city 7,000 miles from India would go unnoticed. Nothing that can be politicized escapes notice of the all-seeing eye of Google, though. For what it's worth, there's a bit of a backlash against the backlash on Twitter. For what it's also worth, second edition: I still haven't heard a peep of complaint from anyone who isn't using exploiting apparently faux outrage over the incident. Anyone?