A Tanishq advertisement on interfaith love triggered a furious backlash on social media with some accusing the jewellery brand of promoting 'love jihad', prompting the company on Tuesday to withdraw it citing hurt sentiments and the well-being of its staff.
The company said in a statement that it was "deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions". The advertisement, it added, had "stimulated divergent and severe reactions, contrary to its very objective".
For the uninitiated, it was a 43-second commercial. The description of the video read: "She (the Hindu woman in the commercial) is married into a (Muslim) 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."
However, the commercial led to #BoycottTanishq on Twitter, with many threatening, demanding a ban on the advertisement and a boycott of the brand. Tanishq first disabled comments and likes/dislikes on its ad on YouTube, and on Tuesday withdrew the video altogether.
Besides, many people including Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, author Chetan Bhagat and actor Swara Bhasker called those asking for a boycott. However, Bhagat was slammed for his "elitist" and "condescending" tweet.
He said, "Dear #tanishq, most people attacking you can’t afford you anyway. And given where their thinking will take this economy, they soon won’t have jobs and hence definitely won’t able to buy anything from #tanishq in the future too. Don’t worry about them."
"Chetan!! Can’t believe you would say something so elitist - whether they can afford it or not, they have a right to respond to an ad in the public domain. Tanishq should have stood by their creative decision and world view," said a Twitter user.
"Not everything is about monetary affordability sir. Most people like myself are capable of buying from #tanishq but will choose not to, as a protest against their partisan behavior. Just like most of us can afford your writings but prefer staying away from that cringefest," wrote another Twitter user.
Here are a few Twitter reactions: