Amid a row, online food delivery firm Zomato has withdrawn the advertisement featuring actor Hrithik Roshan and apologised clarifying the “Mahakal” reference was for a restaurant and not the temple.
Priests of the famous Mahakaleshwar temple in Madhya Pradesh had objected to the advertisement claiming that it offended Hindu sentiments and demanded its withdrawal. Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra had issued directives to the police to look into the controversy.
In the advertisement, Roshan says he felt like having a "thali" (food platter) in Ujjain so he ordered it from "Mahakal".
"The Hrithik Roshan starrer ad that ran in specific pin-codes of Ujjain referenced to 'thalis' at 'Mahakal Restaurant and not the revered Shree Mahakaleshwar temple. Mahakal Restaurant is one of our high-order-volume restaurant partners in Ujjain and thali is a recommended item on its menu,” Zomato said in a statement issued on its Twitter handle.
The food delivery firm said that the video is part of the pan-India campaign for which Mahakal Restaurant (simplified as Mahakal) was chosen in Ujjain.
“We deeply respect the sentiments of the people of Ujjain and the ad in question is no longer running. We offer our sincerest apologies, for the intent here was never to hurt anyone's beliefs and sentiments,” Zomato added.