Accused of promoting 'love jihad', Tanishq pulls down controversial ad

Screeengrab of the Ad

The renowned Jewellery brand has pulled down an advertisement from its Youtube page featuring a Hindu-Muslim marriage after receiving a severe backlash on social media platforms.

The jewellery brand pulled down the advertisement because of the vicious trolling it was subjected to and is expected to issue a statement regarding the same soon, The Print reported on Tuesday.

‘#BoycottTanishq’ was a top trend on Monday and several people tweeted against the advertisement claiming that it promoted “love jihad”, a term coined by radical Hindu groups to accuse Muslim men of participating in a “consipracy to convert Hindu women by marrying them”

The company made the YouTube link to the video private Monday evening, making it unavailable to people and by Tuesday morning, the advertisement was no longer visible on its YouTube page.

Communications strategy consultant Karthik Srinivasan also confirmed the news on Twitter.

Responding to the backlash the jewellery brand faced, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said, “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?”

Former Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of Viacom and now managing director of House of Cheer Networks Raj Nayak expressed his disappointment at Tanishq for withdrawing the ad and said, “This is really sad! How can a brand as strong as Tanishq from the House of Tata’s chicken out based on trolls?”

Image and communications consultant Dilip Cherian also said the move by the jewellery brand was not warranted.

The controversial advertisement

The advertisement by Tanishq was released on 9 October and promoted its new jewellery line called ‘Ekatvam’.

The 45-second video showed a Muslim family preparing a traditional South Indian baby shower for their pregnant Hindu daughter-in-law.

The YouTube description of the video had noted, “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.”
Following the release of the advertisement, several users on Twitter called for its ban and boycott of Tanishq, including authors Shefali Vaidya and Sanjay Dixit.

When the video was up on YouTube, it had received more ‘dislikes’ than ‘likes’.
Till Monday afternoon, the video had garnered more than 2,000 dislikes and only 500 people had liked the advertisement.

The comments section of the video was also disabled by the company Monday.