Tanishq Pulls Interfaith Couple Ad After Right-Wing Backlash

The ad promoting communal harmony caused fierce polarisation on the internet.

A recent advertisement by jewellery brand Tanishq showing a Hindu-Muslim interfaith marriage has been taken down after massive backlash from the Indian right-wing. The ad showed a baby shower being organised for a Hindu wife by her Muslim in-laws and was released as a campaign for Ekatvam By Tanishq.

Responding on this matter, the company stated that the ad was meant 'to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life', but 'has stimulated divergent and severe reactions'.

"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," the official statement read.

The Quagmire Of Interfaith Marriages

The ad drew criticism from right-wing Hindutva groups who alleged that it promotes 'Love Jihad' - an unfound conspiracy theory by Hindutva groups stating Muslim men are purposefully marrying Hindu woman to convert them in an effort to increase India's Muslim population.

The withdrawing of the ad also drew sharp criticism from another section of the society which accused the company of caving into demands by radicals, and shying away from its message of promoting communal harmony.

Tanishq, a subsidiary of Titan Company, owned by the Tata Group, posted the ad on its social channels with the caption, "She is married into a family that loves her like their own child. Only for her, they go out of their way to celebrate an occasion that they usually don't. A beautiful confluence of two different religions, traditions and cultures."

However, interfaith marriage in India, particularly between Muslim men and Hindu women have increasingly come under the scanner of right-wing groups over the past decade, sometimes amounting to violence against families involved in such marriages.

The Social Attitudes Research, India survey of 2016 conducted across Hindi speaking states like Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh found that most of respondents were opposed to inter-faith and inter-caste marriages, and supported a legal ban on such marriages.

Hashtags like #BoycottTanishq and #तनिष्क_माफी_मांग trended on Twitter throughout Monday and Tuesday along with #tanishq and #hindutva, with users tweeting on this subject.

Congress leader and member of parliament Shashi Tharoor also tweeted out against the backlash of the add saying, "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?"

Note: In the previous version of the article we had erroneously mentioned interfaith wedding in the headline to describe the advertisement.

Updated On: 2020-10-16T12:42:35+05:30
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