Gandhi-Bot (India Pale Ale), USA - How it remained undetected for 5 years and finally withdrawn by the New England Brewery

Gandhi-Bot beer.

Above image: Gandhi-Bot: The New England Brewing Company’s Gandhi-Bot is  an India pale ale. Its cartoon image depicting a robot version of the late Indian leader and the brand name went unnoticed for 5 long years!!.................

In 2015, an unexpected event took the New England based brewery in Woodbridge, about six miles of northwest of New Haven, Connecticut, USA by surprise. Their branded beer  suddenly became a household name for a different reason. A petition was filed in an Indian court, in Hyderabad, Telangana claiming that the use of Mahatma Gandhi’s name and image — he appears as a dancing robot on the 12-ounce cans — was “highly condemnable and punishable, according to Indian Laws and amounts to offence under Prevention of Insults to National Honour, Act 1971, and Section 124-A of IPC". It also drew the attention of a large US audience watching the TV Talk show hosted by Conan O' Brian who had made cheeky comment on Gandhi ''the hot bald chick with the glasses" (January 15,  2015).

US TV Talk Host

Under the brand name of  ''Gandhi-bot'' using India's most revered  freedom fighter Gandhi's name, the brewery  had been selling the highly hopped India Pale Ale for roughly 5 years. Ofcourse, the mistake was unintional and the NEBCO 'd failed to do research on Gandhiji.

What is surprising is neither the New England Brewing Company’s Gandhi-Bot India pale ale with a cartoon image depicting a robot version of Gandhi (who was a strict vegetarian and shunned alcohol) nor its sales pitch on its website  as fully vegetarian and “an ideal aid for self-purification and the seeking of truth and love” got the attention of  the Indian diaspora settled in N. America. "The G-Bot head ended up on t-shirts and snifters and tattooed on the calf of someone in New York......there are also whisperings that the first Gandhi-Bot shirts, with no identifying brewery mentions other than the image, became a kind of underground “secret handshake of beer geeks.'' (  Even the Indian  and US news media never knew about the brew that would cleanse your body and soul to seek the truth. 

About the highly hopped India Pale Ale made and marketed by a small New England brewery in Woodbridge under the brand name of  ''Gandhi-bot'' using India's most revered  freedom fighter Gandhi's name to highlight the goodness of their famous brew, it is quite obvious, the controversial name had been visible on the market for  five long years  without any detection. 

The comments on the product stated piling up, thanks to the TV talk show. "The consensus of comments was that the image on the can was insulting to Gandhi, his family, and every Indian citizen across the globe. Mahatma Gandhi preached temperance. Reading the posts, to have his image on a can of beer was a huge slap in the face and grotesque." (

“Our sensitivity on this important issue has been addressed and I am looking forward to the early release of their renamed and rebranded product,” he said. It is unclear what the beer will now be called. The company said in a statement that the beer itself will remain the same.

As the  US brewery wanted to sustain its name and prestige it did not like being in the center of a controversy involving India's most respected freedom fighter.  Further, the company did not want to hurt the sentiments of Indians living in the US and elsewhere. The brewery apologised earlier this month after a lawyer in southern India filed lawsuit describing the label as “condemnable”.

The management immediately agreed to  rebrand the brew following meetings with Indian-American business owners, temple leaders and state officials, including state Representative Prasad Srinivasan, said the Associated Press.