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.
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
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Tanishq has tweeted saying that it had withdrawn the ad in view of the “hurt sentiments”, and in order to ensure the “well-being” of its employees and partners.
— Tanishq (@TanishqJewelry) October 13, 2020
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.
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
— Neelangana (@neelangana) October 12, 2020