The store manager was reportedly forced to write an apology
The store manager was reportedly forced to write an apology

Amid backlash over a Tanishq ad on interfaith marriage, a jewellery store of the brand was reportedly attacked in Gujarat on Monday.

This was, however, denied by the BJP with the party's IT Cell head Amit Malviya calling it fake news.

According to an NDTV report, the store in Guajarat's Gandhidham was attcked on Monday night and the manager was made to write an apology letter by the mob.

"Apologies to people of Kutch district for hurting sentiment of Hindus by broadcasting secular advertisement (sic)," the apology letter displayed at the Tanishq store said.

The TV channel reported that the police said threat calls were received but no attack took place.

"Some people had informed the store the ad was not in good taste and had hurt sentiments and some threat calls had been received. The police have been regularly patrolling the area. No ransacking, rioting, protest or attack took place," a police officer was quoted as saying by NDTV.

Denying the report, Malviya said it was fake news.

The ad had triggered a furious backlash on social media with some accusing the jewellery brand of promoting 'love jihad', prompting the company on Tuesday 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 company's move prompted intense debate on social media and elsewhere, just as the ad to promote its jewellery collection Ekatvam (oneness) had deepened societal faultlines since its release last week.

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.

"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," a Tanishq spokesperson said in a statement.

(With PTI inputs)

Free Press Journal