New England Brewing Co. is apologizing to people offended by its use of Mohandas Gandhi's name and likeness on beer cans.
The company based in Woodbridge, Connecticut, apologized over the weekend for its distribution of Gandhi-Bot, an India pale ale.
The marketing campaign was received with criticism in India and the United States, with people complaining about the commercial use of Gandhi, who led India to independence with the use of nonviolent civil disobedience.
New England Brewing apologized on Facebook, as well as in the press.
The Facebook statement said, "We apologize to any Indian people that find our Gandhi-Bot label offensive. Our intent is not to offend anyone but rather pay homage and celebrate a man who we respect greatly. We take great care in creating a product we hope will not be abused in the manner that Mahatma Gandhi spoke of when referencing alcohol. So many Indian people here in America love our tribute to him. Gandhi's granddaughter and grandson have seen the label and have expressed their admiration of the label. We hope that you understand our true intent and learn to respect our method and the freedom we have to show our reverence for Gandhi."
Another statement on the Facebook page said, "We also ask our supporters and fans to refrain from arguing on our page with those who may be upset by our label. We want to do our best to be culturally sensitive and respectful. Thank-you everyone."