Netizens create controversy over an interfaith ad; the brand withdraws it later

image source: Karthik Srinivasan

Advertisement promoting communal harmony ended up dividing the netizens in two

Tanishq withdraws their “beauty of oneness” ad after #BoycottTanishq goes trending on social media.

By Trisha Majumder

Kolkata, October 28, 2020: For the “Ekatvam” campaign by Tanishq , the brand released an advertisement on social media showing a Muslim mother-in-law preparing a hindu baby shower for her pregnant hindu daughter-in-law, which some netizens pointed out to be disrespectful towards religious sentiments.

India has often seen such incidents where several brands have received backlash for promoting communal harmony through advertisements. The Hindutva brigadiers have always been steady in action each time to reject the respective brands and promoting the hashtag to boycott them and this time was no exception.

Kangana Ranaut had put out a tweet expressing her concerns about the wrong portrayal of communal harmony through the ad.

There were many others who accused Tanishq of promoting “love jihad” and claimed that Tanishq was not showing the actual scenario of an inter-religious marriage.

The brand withdrew the ad and posted an apology on twitter claiming that their intention was only to promote ‘oneness’ among the Indians and has removed the ad for the sake of the protection of their employees, partners and store staff.

Following the withdrawal and general hatred, many others came up to support Tanishq and appreciated the ad. Some shared their own stories of inter-faith marriage and supported the sentiment of the ad whole-heartedly. Few others claimed that if an ad showing how to make the daughter happy angers a nation then this is a dark age.

Shashi Tharoor , Congress MP in Facebook and Twitter called out the Hindutva bigots for promoting hatred instead of understanding the real intention behind the ad.

Some even compared the hatred and intolerance as a virus which is deadlier than the COVID.

 Following the blow up on social media, the manager of a Tanishq store in Gujarat was threatened and forced to write an apology letter. It is quite disturbing to think that a simple ad can trigger so much hatred in people and at the same time the stories that came up in its response shows the true colours of a secular and unified India.