'Kali-Ma' beer row rocks Parliament, MPs demand US apology
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An American brewery company has apologised for naming a beer after Hindu goddess "Kali" and said it is currently scrambling to rename the product, amidst protest in the Indian Parliament.
The "Kali-Ma" beer which was scheduled for launch today has now been postponed till the Portland-based company - Burnside Brewing Co - finds a new name to it.
"In response to pleas from the Hindu community we have decided to postpone the limited release of "Kali-ma" our imperial wheat ale flavoured with Indian spices and Scotch-Bonnet peppers," the company said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
"It is never our intention at Burnside to offend or alienate any race, creed, religion or sexual orientation. The inspiration for the beer label simply came from a favourite childhood movie in the "Indiana Jones" series and we were unaware that it could be offensive to anyone," it said.
"We are currently scrambling to re-name the beer and intend to release it soon afterwards. To those who have been patiently waiting, we humbly ask that you wait just a little longer and to anyone we have offended we sincerely apologise," said Burnside Brewing Co.
"Kali-Ma" the beer was earlier announced as spiced wheat ale involving cardamom, fenugreek, cumin, India dandicut peppers, etc., and showed the picture of Goddess with four arms and three severed heads.
Strongly objecting to the US company launching the beer brand named after Goddess Kali, a demand was made in Rajya Sabha today that US Ambassador to India should be summoned and asked to apologise for it.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Ravi Shankar Prasad of BJP said it is a serious and sensitive issue that hurt 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.