CURRY HOUSE ORDERED TO DROP LOGO
By DAWN COHEN
INDIAN Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has personally written to Ballina company Handi Ghandi, demanding the firm ditch its logo and name.
Dr Singh said the takeaway food chain offended the name of the revered Mahatma Gandhi, 'the father' of Indian independence.
The Ballina owners, Rob Broomham, Troy Lister and Rod Ellis, decided to remove the image of the former Indian political leader from its logo over the weekend, but refused to budge on the name.
The international furore was sparked when the two-year-old company tried to sell franchises in Sydney three months ago.
"A gentleman was upset because of our caricature of Gandhi at our franchise expo," said managing director Troy Lister.
"He took his complaints to The Gandhi Foundation in India."
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a member of the Mumbai-based Mahatma Gandhi Foundation, along with Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of the architect of independence from Great Britain.
The logo, appearing on the store's signage and the company's website, showed a Mahatma Gandhi look-alike holding takeaway food containers.
Dr Savita Singh, head director of Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, the campus where the internationally-honoured leader fell to an assassin's bullet, wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, alerting him to the matter.
"Using Mahatma Gandhi's image to sell curries is a matter of deep sorrow and disgrace," he said.
Mr Lister said the Prime Minister and other Gandhi Foundation members objected to the devout vegetarian being used to sell meat dishes and what they perceived to be disrespect in the logo.
"In hindsight I can see why it upset them," he said.
"We had no intention of offending anyone. We decided over the weekend to remove it out of respect and also for our franchisees. "We are not going to change the name, though."
Mr Lister said the name had been deliberately mis-spelt so it can't be identified as the great leader.
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