The interfaith coalition consisting of representatives of the Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and Jain religions has called on AB InBev to rename its Brahma beer line. Brahma is the god of creation in one of the oldest religions in the world, Hinduism. The figure is highly revered among Hindus around the world.
The beer called Brahma was first produced in 1988 by Companhia Cervejaria Brahma, a Brazilian brewery that is now owned by AB InBev. Now the interfaith coalition has called on the brewer to correct old wrongs by changing the name of the beer and to stop misusing this revered religious figure.
It is the right time to fix an old wrong — the trivializing of the faith of our Hindu brothers and sisters for about 132 years,” said Rajan Zed, coalition spokesperson, as per St. Louis Post Dispatch.Rajan Zed, Spokesperson, interfaith coalition
In a statement the group criticized the marketing of the beer brand which objectifies women and called out AB InBev for religious appropriation, sacrilege and ridiculing entire communities. The group has called on the beer giant to show its sensitivity to communities by renaming the beer.
However, it does not look like the world’s largest beer maker plans to rename the highly popular brand. In fact, they have denied that the beer was named after the Hindu god. Instead the brewer has said the name was in tribute to Joseph Bramah – an Englishman who invented the draft pump valve. Apparently, the spelling was changed “to make the name work better in the Portuguese language,” according to AB InBev claims.
Completely disregarding sensitivity to religious groups AB InBev’s head of communications for the Latin America subsidiary, Lucas Rossi, has said that Hindus are a “tiny minority” in Brazil while the Brahma beer is “important to the culture.” This statement implies that it is more important to retain the name of the beer brand than respect a minority religion.