Curry boycott

By DAWN COHEN

THE great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi has called on Northern Rivers residents to boycott Handi Ghandi take-away restau- rant chain if it refuses to alter its name.

If the restaurant complied, Tushar Gandhi (pictured far right) said he would eat the Lennox Head-based company's curries himself.

In an email interview, the Mumbai resident said he was sending an appeal to the residents.

"To those of you who work for Handi Ghandi and for those of you who are their clients, prevail on them ... to change the name, remove the mis-spelt but still related name of my illustrious great-grand father ... from their brand name and stop the use of the very offensive jingle," he said.

"May peace and joy be your eternal neighbours."

International protests have been sparked by the company selling curries in the name of vegetarian pacifist Mahatma Gandhi.

A caricature logo of the leader attracted complaints from Australian Indians and the Mumbaibased Muhatma Gandhi foundation.

Even Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has joined the protest, adding his name to a letter demanding the company drop the use of the image and change its name.

The protesters won a partial success last weekend when Handi Ghandi decided to change its logo; swapping an image of Mahatma Gandhi for a picture of a bearded man in Indian garb.

But the company co-owner and managing director Troy Lister said the name would not change.

"It is a legally registered tradename," Mr Lister said.

Mr Lister has said the name of the takeaway franchise was deliberately mis-spelled to prevent it relating directly to Mahatma Gandhi.

The takeaway is one of four In- dian food businesses in NSW and Queensland to use the Gandhi name. Others are in the Sydney suburb of Manly, Brisbane's Southbank and at Ettalong, between Sydney and Newcastle.

Mr Gandhi wants the people of Ballina to know the Handi Ghandi jingle parodying the Indian accent is demeaning to Indians.

"It is a racist image of the Indian accent," he said.

"[The Handi Ghandi promotion] is as offensive to us as if the names and images of Jesus [were used] to sell products or, for the British, if the Queen's image as a sales woman [was used]."

The Mahatma Gandhi Foundation's managing trustee said he would be the first to thank Handi Ghandi if they complied.

If Handi Ghandi changed its name 'I would not hesitate to patronise their business,' he said.

In India, the image of Mahatma Gandhi is protected as a national emblem, and may not be used for commercial purposes.



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