A New England Brewing spokesman claimed Gandhi’s grand-daughter and grandson had seen and “admired” the beer label.
Photo / New England Brewing Company

Descendants of Mahatma Gandhi an
that put the image of India’s teetotal independence campaigner on tins
of beer.
Tushar Gandhi, his great-grandson, said he was
considering legal action against the New England Brewery Company, based
in Connecticut.
“How can anyone think of using Mahatma Gandhi’s picture on a bottle of alcoholic product?” he asked.
his life he abhorred alcohol drinking and spoke against it. No-one has
consulted us or sought our permission to use his picture. We are
contemplating legal action for hurting the sentiments of millions of
The brewery said it was sorry if it had offended anyone
by using Gandhi’s name and image for its Gandhi-Bot India Pale Ale,
which it billed as “vegetarian” and a perfect aid for those seeking
truth and love. It indicated that the beer would not be withdrawn,
despite a lawyer in Hyderabad suing over what he described as an illegal
insult to the India’s honour.

Matt Westfall, a company spokesman, said: “We do apologise if
the good people of India find our Gandhi-Bot label offensive. Our intent
is not to offend anyone but rather pay homage and celebrate a great man
who we respect greatly.”
He claimed that Gandhi’s grand-daughter
and grandson had seen and “admired” the beer label. However, other
descendants described the use of his image to sell alcohol as
Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Gandhi’s grandson, said it was
“crass and silly” but part of a much wider “commodification” that
should be challenged.
The Indian government recently used
Gandhi’s distinctive spectacles as a logo for a public hygiene campaign.
“Our concern should be the retrieval of his larger ideology of
non-violence, pluralism and human ideals,” his grandson said.