A Tanishq jewellery showroom in Gujarat’s Kutch district was forced put up an apology on Monday after people barged into the store demanding one, ANI reported on Wednesday. The number of people differed, according to various reports. While The Indian Express said more than a 100 people went to the store and insisted that an apology be put up, ANI reported that only two people had done so.
The incident came after the jewellery brand released a television commercial depicting inter-faith marriage, sparking a huge row. Tanishq later took down the advertisement.
The note, written in Gujarati and posted on the door of the store, apologised to the Hindu community in the district. It also condemned the advertisement, calling it “shameful”, PTI reported. The note has been removed, the police said.
Earlier on Wednesday, media reports claimed that a mob had attacked the store in Gandhidham over the commercial, following which the apology was put up. However, the police claimed that there was no such attack. Kutch (East) Superintendent of Police Mayur Patil said the news that the shop was attacked was fake.
The showroom manager also told ANI that the store was not attacked.
However, an unidentified staff member told The Indian Express that they were hesitant to file a police complaint following the alleged mob attack because they “did not want any controversy”. “Many of our customers have been dialling us and registering their protest and displeasure over the ad campaign,” the employee told the newspaper. “Our daily business has also been affected adversely.”
The Tanishq commercial had showed a Muslim family preparing for an upcoming baby shower for their Hindu daughter-in-law.
Tanishq had on Tuesday had withdrawn the advertisement after Hindutva supporters vociferously criticised it, alleging that the commercial promoted “love jihad”. “Love jihad” is a term frequently used by Hindutva organisations to allege a conspiracy by Muslim men to marry women from other religions solely to convert them to Islam.
In a statement, the company said it made the decision keeping in mind the well-being of its employees, partners, and store staff.
“The idea behind the Ekavatam campaign is to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life, local communities and families during these challenging times and celebrate the beauty of oneness,” the statement said. “This film has stimulated divergent and severe reactions, contrary to its very objective.” The jewellery brand, part of the Tata company, said it was “deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions”.