NEW DELHI: Jewellery brand
removed an advertisement about an interfaith couple on Tuesday, nearly 24 hours after the video clip was subjected to trolling by right-wing groups.
“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. We are deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions and withdraw this film keeping in mind the hurt sentiments and well-being of our employees, partners and store staff,” Tanishq posted from its Twitter handle.
On Monday, the trend #BoycottTanishq was one of the top trends on Twitter, with several users alleging that it promoted “love Jihad”. “Propaganda like love jihad has been endorsed by people in the ruling party. The underlying ideology that supports this claim is patriarchal, but it has a clearly communal angle as well. It infantilises women, while also othering an entire minority community by casting aspersions against them. The overtone is that the minority community lures women to convert them and that
should not exist in Muslim households,” said social activist and feminist Ranjana Kumari. Tanishq is the most visible brand of Tatacontrolled Titan. The advertisement, released last week, showed a pregnant woman dressed in a white sari, walking in a “visibly” Muslim household with an older woman who she calls “ma”. Men with skull caps and women with headscarves were visible as the two walk out to a lawn. At the end of the video, the young woman asks, “But this ceremony is not held at your home...”, to which the older woman replies, “Isn’t it a tradition for every home to keep daughters happy?”
tweeted on Monday, “@TanishqJewelry Why are you showing a Hindu ‘daughter-in-law’ to a muslim family and glorifying it? Why dont you show a Muslim daughterin-law in your ads with a Hindu family? Look like you are promoting #LoveJihad & favouring a particular faith only... #BoycottTanishq. (sic)”
People familiar with the matter said the company did not want to risk its business and its stores in Gujarat and north India were getting threats that they would not be allowed to open unless they acted against the ad. “As far as Titan and Tanishq are concerned, they have been at the forefront of socially sensitive advertisements. What has happened to this one is unfortunate because there is social media noise on this. I hope it does not push them into the backfoot,” said brand consultant Harish Bijoor.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “So
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? (sic)”.