With reference to the recent Tanishq Ad controversy, it’s quite clear that ‘Unity in Diversity’ is fictional and seems to have no existence in reality.
Advertisements that ultimately see brands being subjected to intense criticism on social media platforms are not uncommon, with jewellery brand, Tanishq being the latest victim after the release of its 45-second commercial portraying a pregnant Hindu woman accompanied by her Muslim mother-in-law to her baby shower.
When the two of them arrive at the ceremony, the daughter turns to her mother-in-law and asks, “These kinds of rituals are not generally performed in your house, are they?” To which she receives the response, “Isn’t it a tradition to keep daughters happy all over the place?”
The commercial was applauded, but the shrill criticism that challenged the intent of TATA in propagating ‘love jihad’ was heavily overridden. The hashtag #BoycottTanishq, threats to vandalise the jewellery showrooms and lynch the brand manager of Tanishq, who happens to be a Muslim, hit below the belt of commercial interests.
So Hindutva bigots have called for a boycott of @TanishqJewelry for highlighting Hindu-Muslim unity through this beautiful ad. If Hindu-Muslim “ekatvam” irks them so much, why don’t they boycott the longest surviving symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity in the world — India? pic.twitter.com/cV0LpWzjda
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 13, 2020
The concept wasn’t as much a problem as the execution was,the fearful Hindu girl apologetically expressing her gratitude to her in-laws for the acceptance of her faith, Isn’t she the woman of the house? Why is she at their mercy? Why so meek and timid in her own house? Shameful. https://t.co/LDRC8HyHYI
— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) October 12, 2020
Titan’s stock also dropped on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE). Tanishq issued a statement on the removal of a controversial ad, stating that it was ‘deeply saddened after the advert was targeted online with an unintended stirring of emotions.’ The company said it had chosen to delete the ad to bear in mind ‘the well-being of our staff, partners and employees.’
But meek surrender by Tanishq itself was disappointing. The Tata Group is not known to be bent on abuse. Perhaps it was concern that it would harm its employees. The TATAs are aware that paper tigers with barks worse than their bites, so are these troll armies.
Sad lack of spine.. and conviction. Numerous women (and men) get death threats on social media on a daily basis.. they stand up to it. Unfortunate that a large corporate conglomerate is unable to gather the courage (and resources) to withstand a few days of trolling! 🙄 #tanishq https://t.co/PBDPVlRxZe
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) October 14, 2020
— Soni Razdan (@Soni_Razdan) October 13, 2020
In fact, the jewellery company should have dug even more in its heels after Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah provided the signal on the Tanishq controversy that “there shouldn’t be any form of over-activism.” It’s quite evident that religious bigotry is a burden on the country’s economic future.