An advertisement showing an inter-faith marriage by jewellery brand Tanishq has become the talking point of the Internet. In an advertisement of Tanishq, a Hindu woman who is married into a Muslim family is set for her baby shower. Her in-laws are shown to have gone to great lengths to make their daughter-in-law feel happy by performing Hindu rituals. What on the surface seems like an ad about unity between families, the right-wing group turned it into “Love jihad”.
Love Jihad or Romeo Jihad is a conspiracy theory that alleges that Muslim men target women belonging to non-Muslim communities in order to convert them to Islam by feigning love and marrying them. The commercial is a part of Tanishq’s current festive season’s collection ‘Ekatvam’. Tanishq, eventually pulled the ad down, amidst much speculation and lots of people protesting the pulling down of the ad itself as a regressive move, and giving in to trolls. But Tanishq mentioning the safety of their staff was poignant – because the online trolling wasn’t limited to just online trolling.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, 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?
Jewellery brand Tanishq has reportedly pulled its ad for Ekatvam (Oneness) jewellery line after being viciously trolled online. Tanishq in a statement said that it pulled the ad “keeping in mind… the well-being of our employees, partners, and store staff.”
The statement read: “The idea behind the Ekavatam 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 wellbeing of our employees, partners, and store staff.”
Sandeep Patil told Afternoon Voice when asked about his opinion on the entire controversy, He said, “Well! frankly speaking, it’s a clear case of Muslim appeasement if not Love Jihad as it’s portrayed. Why are Hindu girls always bearing the flagship of secularism? The onus of Hindu-Muslim unity doesn’t only lie on Hindus and so the brands need to come out of this stereotype.”
Assistant Professor of Jai Hind College, Dr. Archana Ashtekar said, “I feel people are just making a hue and cry about it. Their idea is to promote unity in our culture. The advertisement conveys a number of messages like inter-religious marriages works. Mothers-in-law should treat daughters-in-law as own daughters. Customs and traditions are important and religion should not be a barrier, but unfortunately, people are only stuck to Hindu and Muslim angle. They should have shown a counter ad to it where the mother-in-law in this ad should have a daughter who is married in the other religion.”
Minnam Ansari, a Journalist said, “The Tanishq advertisement was a brilliant manifestation of the diverse societal base of India. However, the troll-attack that followed goes on to suggest the ever-growing intolerance against freedom of expression in the country.”
“It was completely unfound from Tanishq to pull down the advertisement and might bear the consequences, sooner or later. The trackback from the jewellery brand on the advertisement will further encourage the troll army to attack every such institution that still strives for a liberal world, encompassing inter-faith marriages. Moreover, this will further promote toxicity on social media”, he further added.
Shivani Lokhande an HR executive said, “Personally, I loved the advertisement. Now talking about the issue going around this, I am really not understanding why people have become so pessimistic and aggressive towards muslims? Not every human being is same. In the world of negativity if someone is trying to show the positive side, why are we pulling it down? I would like to request everyone to think logically.”
Sarah Mark said, “I feel it is a beautiful advertisement of two religion trying to appreciate and respect each others culture. I don’t understand, why are people so mad about it, I mean living in the 21st century, and Indians still can’t acknowledge each others culture is quite sad. According to me, Hindu-Muslim unity is possible only if people keep their egos aside and genuinely respect each other. The world is much more beyond than just religion.”
Actor Divya Dutta, whose voice has been used in the ad, also wrote on Twitter, “Yes it’s my voice. It’s sad it’s taken off the air. I loved it.”
Ramesh Jain the owner of Jain Ornaments in Mumbai suburb told Afternoon Voice, “We are jewellery sellers and each customer matters to us, along with jewellery we sell emotions and love. We unite people, here Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, and all Indian communities come for purchasing Gold on various occasions. Our shops are the greatest example of unity and love. These days, dividing people has become a core political agenda.”