A Tanishq ad on interfaith love triggered a furious backlash on social media with some accusing the jewellery brand of promoting 'love jihad'.
The company decided to withdraw the film citing hurt sentiments and the well-being of its staff.
It said in a statement that it was "deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions". The film, it added, had "stimulated divergent and severe reactions, contrary to its very objective".
The removal of the ad led to fresh debate with several people.
However, things escalated to a whole new level when reports of a Tanishq store in Gandhidham, Gujarat, being attacked by a mob took over social media.
This resulted into several versions of the incident from multiple media sources leading to a confusion.
What happened at the Tanishq store in Gandhidham?
A Tanishq jewellery showroom in Gandhidham town of Gujarat's Kutch district put up a note on its door, apologising to Hindus in the district over the ad.
"We apologise to Hindu community of Kutch on the shameful advertisement of Tanishq," the note read.
It was pasted on the showroom's door on October 12, and has since been removed. Photos of the apology note have gone viral on social media.
‘Fake news’ by NDTV
News channel NDTV was accused of 'peddling fake news', that the Tanishq showroom had been 'attacked' by a mob. After being heavily criticized by netizens, it issued a clarification on its official Twitter handle.
"The Gujarat police say people made threats at a Tanishq store after which store manager had to write an apology note. They claim this is not an attack," read the statement.
Gujarat government refuted media reports which claimed the store was attacked.
Minister of state for Home, Pradipsinh Jadeja said he has ordered strict action against those who spread this fake news.
"The news of an attack on a showroom in Gandhidham, Kutch by @ndtv is TOTALLY FAKE. This is a motivated attempt to adversely impact the law & order & incite violence in Gujarat.
I have asked to register a case & take strict action against those who spread this fake news," Jadeja tweeted.
Threat calls to the store owner
Police said some persons had asked the store owner to put the apology note in Gujarati so that more people could understand it.
Mayur Patil, SP, Kutch (East), Gujarat told ANI, “On October 12, two people came to Tanishq store in Gandhidham and demanded to put up an apology in Gujarati. The shop owner had fulfilled the demand but he was getting threat calls from Kutch. The news about the store being attacked are false.”
"But still, we have deployed adequate police personnel at the showroom to prevent any untoward incident," he told in another interview with IANS.
The man who asked for an apology
According to a report by Ahmedabad Mirror, the accessed CCTV footage shows only one person entering the Tanishq store.
Ramesh Maitra, a local businessman approached the store manager Rahul Manuja, telling him he has 24 hours to put up an apology note. The latter complies to the same immediately.
Maitra told the tabloid that he went to the store because he felt that the advertisement was against his religion and Hindu community.
He said that after putting up the note he left and there was no violence or fighting.
Who wrote the apology note?
According to a report by Indian Express, Prakash Gupta, owner of the Tanishq franchise in Gandhidham said that six to seven persons barged into the showroom on October 12 and wrote an apology on behalf of the store and put it up on their notice board.
Gupta said that they informed the police on Tuesday about what had happened but did not file any complaint adding that the showroom was “not attacked.”
What was shown in the commercial?
The 43 second commercial, which led to the hashtag #BoycottTanishq trending on Twitter, shows a pregnant woman being led to her bridal shower, a Hindu custom called 'godh bharai', by a woman who viewers later realise is her mother-in-law.
The young woman, in a sari and bindi, addresses the older one, in a salwar kurta and a dupatta covering her head, as 'Ma' and asks, "But you don't celebrate this custom?" The mother responds with a gentle, "The tradition of keeping daughters happy is there in every home." Setting the scene of a composite family, a woman in a hijab, people in saris and a man in a skullcap can be seen in the backdrop.
The description of the video on YouTube read: "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, cultures." The commercial opened the floodgates of debate and trolling with a flurry of tweets, some angry and threatening, demanding a ban on the advertisement and a boycott of the brand, a Tata product.
Tanishq first disabled comments and likes/dislikes on its ad on YouTube, and on Tuesday withdrew the video altogether.
Tanishq jewellery brand is a division of Titan company, promoted by the Tata Group in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation.