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Tanishq withdraws advertisement on inter-faith marriage following social media criticism

A screengrab from Tanishq's advertisement for its Ekatvam collection.  

Following the uproar on social media over its latest advertisement, Tanishq, the Tata Group’s jewellery brand, on Tuesday said it withdrew the advertisement “keeping in mind the hurt sentiments and well-being of our employees, partners and store staff”.

The advertisement, released ahead of the festive season, shows a baby shower being thrown by a Muslim family for their daughter-in-law, who is a Hindu. Towards the end of the video, the young woman points out to her mother-in-law that baby showers are not a tradition in their household. To which the mother-in-law replies: “Isn’t it a tradition for every home to keep daughters happy?”

The ad drew severe criticism from a section of social media users who alleged that it promoted ‘love jihad’ — a derogatory term used by fringe groups to describe interfaith relationships. The hashtag #BoycottTanishq has been trending across social media sites such as Twitter since Monday. Buckling under the pressure, Tanishq pulled down the ad. However, the brand was criticised for “bowing down” to the “trolls”.

“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,” a company spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added, “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.”

Amid the controversy, shares of Titan Company Limited, which owns the Tanishq brand, fell 2.18% or ₹27.35 per share on the BSE, to close at ₹1,229.75 per share.

Reacting on the issue, Congress MP Shahi Tharoor had tweeted, “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?”

Likewise, author Shobhaa De had said, “Good for you @TanishqJewelry. If only we had more ads like this sensitive and brilliant one promoting love between different communities, India would be a far better place for all. Shame on trolls #downwithbigotry.”

Agreeing to Ms. De’s tweet the RPG Group’s Harsh Goenka had tweeted, “What a lovely ad is being trolled. What’s happening to us?”

Author Chetan Bhagat also tweeted, “As a TATA group company, expected #Tanishq to be fairer and braver. If you have done nothing wrong, if you have shown something beautiful about our country, don’t get bullied. Be Indian. Be strong.”

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 2:45:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tanishq-withdraws-advertisement-on-inter-faith-marriage-following-social-media-criticism/article32841428.ece

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