The Tanishq ad ‘Ektavam‘ depicting inter-caste unity gets taken down by the Indian netizens for promoting ‘Love Jihad’ in a secular country.
By Rupali Mandal
Tanishq produced a 45-seconds ad to promote ‘Ekatvam’ which featured a Muslim mother-in-law performing a Hindu ritual to respect the faith of her pregnant Hindu daughter-in law. This portrayal of inter-faith marriage attracted criticism from the right-wing supporters on social media, specially Twitter, claiming it to promote ‘love jihad’- a term used by the right-wings which refers to inter-faith relationships, and hurt Hindu sentiments. The ad drew threats of violence on social media.
@ErosNow @TanishqJewelry your daily reminder.learn cultural sensitivity and respect for Hinduism. You are targeting Indians, have some respect for our culture first.Dont try to pedal your propaganda.HINDU FESTIVALS are not for ridiculing. #boycotttanishq #BoycottErosNow pic.twitter.com/6xCcNmRuC7
— Dec (@DecTer23) December 10, 2020
Within hours of the ad’s release, the hashtag #BoycottTanishq started trending on Twitter, soon after which Tanishq had to take down the ad. The YouTube video of the ad received 2,000 dislikes and only 500 likes in just a day. Controversial actress, Kangana Ranaut criticized the portrayal of the ‘Ekatvam’ in the ad by calling it sexist on Twitter.
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
In response to the uproar, a company spokesperson stated, ‘The idea behind the ‘Ekatvam’ campaign is to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life, local communities and families during these challenging times and celebrate the beauty of oneness. This film has stimulated divergent and severe reactions, contrary to its very objective.’
Congress MP Sashi Tharoor tweeted in response to the negative remarks against the ad by calling the idea “beautiful”.
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 objective of Tanishq behind the ad was to promote secularism and unity but in return it fell prey to communal hatred and violence. However, few netizens backed the Tanishq ad and they appreciated the idea behind it. They criticised Ratan Tata for not taking a stand for the brand and criticised him for taking the ad down.
The bigger problem of the withdrawal of #TanishqAd is that it gives more strength to trolls &bigots. Brands will be more scared to show anything (regardless of what is right) that is ‘against’ the current political climate and religious ideology. Only wish #RatanTata took a stand https://t.co/XHt64PDJ3W
— Tinu Cherian Abraham (@tinucherian) October 13, 2020