India proudly calls itself a secular state where various religions can coexist peacefully. Yet, an Indian Jewellery brand had to remove an ad that promoted Hindu-Muslim unity following major backlash and trolling.
Tanishq wanted to endorse ‘Ekvatam,’ the concept of oneness. And hence, they prepared a script where a Hindu girl married into a Muslim family. It showed the idea that people can live together without having to change their religions. In fact, people celebrate other religions. To be specific, the Muslim family was seen celebrating the godh bharai ritual, apparently not in the Muslim culture.
Executed perfectly, the love between the characters instantly made one like the ad, but some Indians did not see it that way. Instead, they got offended. They believed that the ad promoted the concept of love jihad.
Love Jihad is basically that Muslim men rope in Hindu women through love and then convince them to convert. Officially, such a concept has been denounced by the Indian government, but the people on the ground still treat it as a reality. The Indians asked why it is that to show ekvatam; the woman has to be Hindu. They asked why an ad cannot have a Muslim bride in a Hindu home.
Kangana Ranaut’s Response
While the ad itself showed the love between all the household members, Kangana Ranaut, the actress known for being very anti-Pakistan, did not seem very convinced. She took to Twitter that the girl seems very meek and timid, which clearly shows that she fears her Muslim in-laws.
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
She further added that:
“This advert is wrong on many levels, Hindu bahu is living with the family for a significant amount of time, but acceptance happens only when she is carrying their heir. So, what is she? Just a set of ovaries? This advert does promote not only love-jihad but also sexism #tanishq.”
Supporters of Hindu Muslim Unity
Shashi Tharoor answered all such trolls and boycotters of the ad reminding everyone that it is the country India that promotes Hindu Muslim unity, so if they really want to boycott, they will have to boycott their own country.
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
That said, it is not unimaginable that Indians reacted this way. If a Pakistani brand were to make a similar ad, would Pakistanis mullah let it go? But then again, Pakistan officially is not a secular state. So for a country proudly calling itself secular should be more accepting of such concepts, no?
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