"We do apologise if the good people of India find our Gandhi-Bot label offensive," Matt Westfall, head brewer at the company, told the Press Trust of India. "Our intent is not to offend anyone but rather pay homage and celebrate a great man who we respect greatly."
Gandhi-Bot is an India Pale Ale. "Aromatic and fully vegetarian, Gandhi-Bot is an ideal aid for self-purification and the seeking of truth and love," the company said in its ads.
This wasn't the first time Indians had been outraged by the seemingly flippant way Western establishments had used Gandhi's name or likeness. Here are some other controversies in which the Mahatma has been embroiled in recent years.
Handi Ghandi takeway chain
In 2005, Mahatma Gandhi’s family pleaded with the Indian government to get an Australian takeaway firm called Handi Ghandi to stop using the leader's name and image to sell its curries. The firm promised “Great Curries…No Worries”. One of the items that they were selling was a beef curry, which is forbidden to high-caste Hindus. Gandhi’s great grandson, Tushar Gandhi, urged the government to take action against the "exploitation of Gandhi's image”, which "is protected under the Indian Constitution and the National Emblems Act".
There are many restaurants named after Mahatma Gandhi around the world. One is located in Reykjavik, Iceland. It’s called Gandhi Indian Restaurant. It is the first South Indian restaurant in Iceland. It is one of two Indian restaurants located in Reykjavik. The other is Austur-Indíafjelagið, which is Icelandic for The East India Company.
Downtown Manhattan has had a restaurant named after Gandhi since 1984. There is also a Ghandi Café, which opened in 1999. Both establishments have dishes like channa masala and samosas.
Montblanc Gandhi pen
In 2010, Montblanc, a German luxury pen maker, apologised for using images of Mahatma Gandhi on a pen that cost £16,000 pen (Rs. 15.5 lakh). The launch of the pen had provoked several protests over the use of images of the Father of the Nation for commercial branding. Sales of the pen were suspended shortly after.