Karwa Chauth Ad
After jewelry brand Tanishq last year and clothing brands Manyavar and Fabindia this year, consumer goods giant Dabur is the last to suspect online abuse and veiled threats from BJP executives.
The company withdrew an ad for Karwa Chauth on Tuesday, which celebrated inclusion, equality and a progressive vision of marriage, but also drew backlash, including an overt reaction from Madhya's Home Secretary Narottam Mishra.
In a brief statement, Dabur said: "Fem's Karwa Chauth campaign has been withdrawn from social media handles and we unconditionally apologise for unintentionally hurting people's sentiments."
The controversy surrounding Dabur's advertising this week was marked by a shocking statement from the home affairs minister of Madhya Pradesh that the company - another Made in India brand that is the world leader in Ayurveda and Ayurvedic-based plant products - threatened legal action.
Mishra defeated Dabur for signaling it"lesbians celebrating Karwa Chauth" and continued: "In future they will show two men taking 'feras' (marrying each other according to Hindu rituals)."
He said police were ordered to order the company to remove the ad. "And if it fails to do so, take legal steps after examining the advertisement," he added
Mishra's comment came shortly after he (just) stopped defending the violence of the good henchmen on the set of a web series directed by Prakash Jha and starring Bobby Deol.
The Dabur ad in question shows two young women talking about the meaning of Karwa Chauth and why it should be celebrated as they prepare for the night.
The women are then seen face to face - each with a colander and an ornate plate - to signify that they are partners, after which the Fem logo appears and a voiceover says, "Shine with pride."
The announcement was widely appreciated on social media, with one person writing: "Well done, Fem/Dabur! A nice film for a traditional, often-criticized festival by an otherwise conservative brand."
Tellingly, another wrote: "It is great to see that inclusive ads can be made only with Hindu festivals and traditions as Hinduism doesn't discriminate and accepts all."
Unfortunately, fanatical reactions followed; one person wrote: “Why doesn't Dabur or whoever come up with similar ads for Xmas or Eid or any other festival? Why target Hindu festivals?"
The attack on Dabur comes days after Fabindia - another globally successful brand emphasizing the government's 'Made in India' approach - was pilloried for calling its collection 'Jasn-e-Riwaaz'.
This attack was carried out by MP Tejasvi Surya from Karnataka. Tire maker Ceat Ltd also faced trolls after another Karnataka BJP MP Ananth Kumar Hegde criticized the brand for delivering an "anti-Hindu" message - calling on people to celebrate a green Diwali.
In September, actress Alia Bhatt's ad for clothing brand Manyavar was rejected because it emphasized the importance of gender equality in relation to the 'Kanyadaan' marriage tradition.
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