Jewellery brand Tanishq on Monday deleted an advertisement that talked about a cracker-free Diwali from its social media handles after a controversy erupted about the content.
This is the second time in less than a month that Tanishq has pulled down advertisements. In October, the brand was forced to withdraw an advertisement showing a baby shower organised by a Muslim family for their Hindu daughter-in-law. The ad was criticised by Hindutva supporters on social media for allegedly promoting “love jihad”. “Love jihad” is a conspiracy theory used by Hindutva groups who accuse Muslim men of converting Hindu women by marriage. Right-wing leaders allege it to be a part of a larger Muslim conspiracy of eventually turning Hindus into a minority in India.
The new Diwali advertisement featured actors Neena Gupta, Nimrat Kaur, Sayani Gupta and Alaya Furniturewala. They were all seen discussing how they will celebrate the festival. Gupta was heard saying “definitely no firecrackers, I don’t think anyone should light firecrackers”.
Several Twitter users asked the brand why it was offering advice to people on how to celebrate festivals, while others backed the advertisement.
“Why should anyone advice Hindus how to celebrate Our Festivals?” Bharatiya Janata Party National General Secretary CT Ravi wrote on Twitter. “Companies must focus on selling their products, not lecture us to refrain from bursting Crackers. We will light lamps, distribute sweets and burst green crackers.”
Another BJP leader, Gaurav Goel, urged people to boycott the brand. “Who is tanishq to advice Hindus as how to celebrate Diwali,” he tweeted. “Keep your advice to yourself and apply the same for your cheap publicity campaign.”
Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri also took to Twitter to criticise the brand. “This Diwali, let’s kill tradition, Hindu culture and promote consumerism,” he wrote. “Because photoshopped secular models with fake smiles and VFX bodies loaded with regressive Gold jewellery will lead us to Ekatvam , the Vedic philosophy of Oneness.”
Several other people supported the brand’s message. Here are some of the tweets.