Titan Limited-owned jewellery brand Tanishq removed its new campaign ‘Ekatvam’ (Oneness) from all media platforms, a day after being viciously trolled on Twitter for “glorifying” love jihad. The 45-second ad featured a Muslim family celebrating a baby shower ceremony for pregnant daughter-in-law.
In a statement, the company said: “This film has stimulated divergent & severe reactions, contrary to its very objective. We’re deeply saddened with inadvertent stirring of emotions & withdraw this film keeping in mind hurt sentiments & well being of our employees.”
Those who slammed the ad released on 9 October said it glorified love jihad, a term coined by Hindu extremist groups to refer to an alleged campaign by Muslims to convert Hindu girls in the guise of love.
The brand was also criticised for promoting fake secular sentiment while hurting the feelings of a particular religious community.
People tweeted with the hashtag #BoycottTanishq calling for a ban on the advertisement and a boycott of the jewellery brand.
A section of Twitter users also supported Tanishq, lauding its effort to highlight the beauty of interfaith marriages and upholding the true idea of India. Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted that “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?” From attacking stereotypes to celebrating the spirit of emancipated young Indian woman, Tanishq advertising has always been progressive and bold. Advertising experts believe the new campaign is line with the brand’s core method of communicating with consumers.
The ad has depicted a confluence of two religions using a family ‘godh bharai’ or baby shower as a backdrop, according to Sambit Mohanty, creative head (south), McCann Worldgroup India. The adverse reaction is unwarranted as the ad does not show anything harmful or insidious, he said.
“Rather, it portrays a picture of harmony, love and genuine affection, which is the idea of India. That said, religion is an extremely touchy topic these days and brands usually stay away from such narratives. Though it isn’t wrong, it’s very bold of Tanishq to have tried something like this.”
There is not one thing that is wrong in the campaign, said Naresh Gupta, co-founder and chief strategy officer, Bang In The Middle. The whole play of relationship is perfectly well-crafted. “It’s sad that Tanishq bowed down to a few trolls and bigots. For me, it’s one of the best ads of 2020,” he noted.