Jewellery brand Tanishq has pulled down a Diwali ad for its Ekatvam line of jewellery after social media backlash by people claiming it showed the Hindu festival in a negative light. The ad, starring actors Sayani Gupta, Neena Gupta, Alaya Furniturewala, and Nimrat Kaur, endorsed the message of a cracker-free Diwali, advising viewers to instead celebrate the festival in peace with family, sweets, positivity, and of course, jewellery. Amid backlash by trolls who slammed it saying no third person was entitled to preach Hindus on how to celebrate their festival, Tanishq took the ad down. This incident comes less than a month after Tanishq had to withdraw another Ekatvam ad that displayed an interfaith Hindu-Muslim marriage. Read more on that here.
Tanishq’s Diwali ad has drawn criticism from no less than politicians, more specifically CT Ravi, BJP National General Secretary from Karnataka. He shared the video writing – “Why should anyone advice Hindus how to celebrate Our Festivals?” A sentiment that resonated with others who had resorted to calling for the brand’s boycott once again since October when such calls were last heard. None of the four actors in the ad have responded to its removal yet.
Why should anyone advice Hindus how to celebrate Our Festivals?
Companies must focus on selling their products, not lecture us to refrain from bursting Crackers.
We will light lamps, distribute sweets and burst green crackers. Please join us. You will understand Ekatvam. https://t.co/EfmNNDXWFD
— C T Ravi 🇮🇳 ಸಿ ಟಿ ರವಿ (@CTRavi_BJP) November 8, 2020
Social Media Slams Tanishq Ad For Being “Preachy”
Social media users did not take kindly to the seemingly “condescending” advice Tanishq was handing out to them before Diwali, in turn attacking the brand for taking an alleged “anti-Hindu” stance once again after October’s interfaith ad. For instance, Sayani Gupta in the Diwali ad says, “I am hoping to be able to meet my mum after really long. Definitely no firecrackers, I don’t think anyone should light any firecrackers. But a lot of diyas, lot of laughter hopefully and lot of positivity.”
Tanishq’s last ad, released October 9 was removed on October 12 after social media users threatened a mass boycott of the brand. Following the removal, Tanishq had issued an apology, citing the safety of their employees who had been receiving death threats. Read more here.
This time around, for the Diwali ad, Tanishq has not issued a statement in the event of taking the ad film down.
Here are some reactions to the ad:
Saw a recent ad campaign by @TanishqJewelry where some bimbos prattle vacuously about how Deepavali is about buyingclothes and jewellery. Looks like this is the new woke line. Strip Deepavali of all religious significance and make it a kind of a glorified kitty party with lights!
— Shefali Vaidya. (@ShefVaidya) November 8, 2020
Now, Tanishq has released Diwali advertisement saying that no one should burst firecrackers. They've partially removed the ad
Meanwhile, 240% rise in stubble burning cases in Punjab in 2020 but lectures are only for Diwali as Diwali is the soft target & other reasons are ignored
— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) November 10, 2020
— Vaishnavi K (@vk_101) November 10, 2020
Delhi’s Alarming Air Quality And Health Concerns
Tanishq’s ad surfaced at a time when Diwali is around the corner, and like every year, is surrounded by concerns of pollution. Reports say that Delhi, and areas around the national capital, are on the “brink of an emergency” as regards the poor air quality. VK Soni, head of the India Meteorological Department’s environmental research centre, has cautioned, “If people burst crackers, pollution levels can increase to ”severe” to ”severe-plus” category (emergency).”
This time, the smog issue has been compounded by the added risk of the COVID-19 pandemic that seeks to make people’s immune systems more vulnerable to diseases. Despite health and science experts’ advice on the alarming issue of crackers, people outraged online at the supposed “desecration” of a Hindu festival. They opposed the environmental “activism” that only arose every time a Hindu festival was in question.
Watch the Tanishq Diwali ad here:
The views expressed are the author’s own.