Followed by the social media uproar, Tanishq has pulled down the ad on inter-faith marriage

Image Source: New Indian Express

The controversy surrounding the advertisement raises questions on the role of social media in blazing issues

The Ekatvam series ad campaign by Tata Group’s jewellery brand Tanishq faced a lot of backlash from social media for showcasing communal harmony by celebrating interfaith relations through the depiction of baby shower celebrations showing a Hindu daughter-in-law of in a Muslim household.

The caption for the 55-second ad on YouTube read: “She is married into a family that loves her like their own child. Only for her, they go out of their way to celebrate an occasion that they usually don’t. A beautiful confluence of two different religions, traditions, cultures.” The ad had over 2,000 dislikes and only  500 likes on its official channel.

People alleged the ad for prompting so-called love jihad — a derogatory term used to refer to inter-faith relationships that alleges that Muslim men try to gain love for Hindu women aiming to convert them to Islam.

Rise in technology has led to social media trials where many issues are judged, trolled, and sometimes bought down as in case of Tanishq advertisement. Social media trolls successfully led the brand to take down the video that aimed to display the nation’s unity and diversity. Celebrities like Kangana Ranaut have joined the social media protest and criticised the advertisement as well as the entire brand.

Following the social media uproar, the brand first disabled the comment section, likes and dislikes on YouTube. The hashtag #BoycottTanishq has been trending across social media on sites such as Twitter which made the brand pull down the ad.

Tanishq has tweeted saying that it had withdrawn the ad in view of the “hurt sentiments”, and in order to ensure the “well-being” of its employees and partners.

However, another section of the internet including people like Sashi Tharoor has supported the advertisement and the brand. Many condemned the removal of the ad and questions regarding brands’ freedom of expression have been raised.