Tanishq withdraws interfaith family ad after ‘love jihad’ allegation, sparks fresh debate

Agencies
October 13, 2020

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New Delhi, Oct 13: Jewellery brand Tanishq on Tuesday withdrew its ad showing an interfaith family following a sharp backlash on social media with some accusing the company of promoting love jihad' and fake secularism'

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 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 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. No reasons were given for dropping the ad. Tanishq has not yet responded to PTI's request for a response or issued a statement.

The removal of the ad led to fresh debate on Twitter with several people, including Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, writer Chetan Bhagat and actor Swara Bhasker calling out the trolls.

"So Hindutva bigots have called for a boycott of [email protected] 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?" tweeted Tharoor.

His party colleague Abhishek Singhvi joined him.

"Those boycotting the Tanishq ad don't like seeing daughter in law(s) happy around mother in law's. You have seen too many soaps & too much prime times news," tweeted Singhvi.

Two States author Bhagat said the company should not get bullied.

As a TATA group company, expected #Tanishq to be fairer and braver. If you have done nothing wrong, if you have shown something beautiful about our country, don't get bullied. Be Indian. Be strong, he said.

Actor Swara Bhasker was also critical and put out a caustic tweet saying, Such a large company, such a weak spine.

"TBH, reacting to paid twitter trends and manufactured outrage is just myopic. The ad was lovely. Standing by it would have made 'em cooler, foresighted and balsy. But alas #tanishq," added her colleague Richa Chadha.

Blogger and writer Richa Singh came out in the company's support, saying those preaching that Tanishq should not have withdrawn the ad obviously don't own jewellery shops.

In a hooligan environment like the present they will first protect their employees' and business interest and then think about your inquilab. So please, drop it, she tweeted.

The polarisation was evident right since October 9 when the ad was first released with many people slamming Tanishq for projecting fictional interfaith union and promoting love jihad', a reference to an alleged campaign by Muslims to convert Hindu girls in the guise of love. And many others lauding it for showing a syncretic, harmonious India.

"Tanishq jewellery's 'Ekatvam' series' ad projects a fictional 'interfaith' union, a Muslim family, a Hindu daughter-in-law being allowed to do a Hindu ritual. Nothing but promotion of love jihad #BoycottTanishq," tweeted former IAS officer and author Sanjay Dixit.

BJP leader and former MP Geetha Kothapalli described the ad as bizarre, highly objectionable and normalising #LoveJihad .

I want to know who directed this Ad and who wrote? Pull this AD down #BoycottTanishq," she said on Twitter.

"Why are you showing a Hindu "daughter in law" to a Muslim family and glorifying it? Why don't you show a Muslim daughter in law in your ads with a Hindu family? Look like you are promoting #LoveJihad & favouring a particular Faith only...," said another Twitter user, Sharma Khemchand.

As the clamour for the boycott of Tanishq grew, there were many who came out in its support. Many kudos came its way for "not shying away from addressing one of the biggest divides" in the nation.

Journalist and columnist De posted a tweet with the hashtag #downwithbigotry'. "Good for you @TanishqJewelry. If only we had more ads like this sensitive and brilliant one promoting love between different communities, India would be a far better place for all. Shame on trolls," she said.

Some used humour to dispel the tension.

"People are trending #BoycottTanishq as if they buy jewelry from them on daily basis," tweeted @sandeep90s.

"Thank you for making us notice the beautiful #tanishq ad dear trolls!" tweeted @shaminaaaa.

It is not the first time that Tanishq has broken stereotype and challenged societal norms with its ad.

In 2013, it promoted remarriage in an ad made by Lowe Lintas. However, back then the commercial didn't attract any controversy and was widely appreciated.

The agency received plaudits this time too.

"Good on you, @TanishqJewelry and @MLLintasGroup for making the ad for Ekatvam. It must NOT have been an easy call to take, you will probably lose some business, but you did the right thing by not shying away from addressing one of the biggest divides in this nation#tanishq," tweeted @iSrikanth.

Last year, Surf Excel was severely criticised for an ad showing Hindu-Muslim unity.

The detergent brand, known for its tagline daag acche hai', was subjected to the '#Boycott Surf Excel' trend on Twitter. Its Holi ad featured two children, a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy. The girl dressed in white is seen riding a bicycle and challenging neighbourhood kids to splash colour on her. It is later revealed that she did so to protect her Muslim friend who had to go to the mosque for prayers.

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News Network
October 21,2020

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Srinagar, Oct 21: Six thousand policemen have been killed while fighting insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989 which includes 40 this year.

“40 policemen have been killed this year in the line of duty in Jammu and Kashmir,” J&K police chief Dilbagh Singh said while speaking at the police commemoration day at Zewan on the outskirts of Srinagar city.

He said so far 6,000 policemen have been killed while performing their duties in J&K in the past three decades. “J&K police are committed to bring peace in the Union Territory. We offer supreme sacrifices to prevent anti-peace elements from fomenting trouble,” Singh said.

Policemen, most of them locals, have become the vulnerable targets as violence escalates in the region. On October 19, militants shot dead inspector Mohammad Ashraf in Kenalwan area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district while he was returning home after offering prayers.

Although not on the same scale as in the 1990s or early 2000s, militancy-related incidents have been increasing after 2015.

The police chief said that it was because of the professionalism and commitment of the force that Prime Minister Narendera Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and other ministers now praise the role of J&K police on every occasion.

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News Network
October 10,2020

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Udupi, Oct 5: Zainul Ulama M Abdul Hameed Musliyar Mani, general secretary of Karnataka Sunni Jamiyatul Ulama, today took over as the Qadhi of Samyukta Jamaat (combined mosque committees) of Udupi. More than 100 mosques in the district fall under his jurisdiction.

The Qadhi post was vacant following the demise of Bekal Ibraheem Musliyar last month. Zainul Ulama was chosen as the successor to Ibrahim Musliyar on October 5 in special general meeting of the Samyukta Jamaat held under the leadership of its president Haji P Aboobakar Nejar.

Today’s swearing in ceremony was held on the premises of Mulur Central Mosque under the supervision of Edappal Mahmood Musliyar.

Dr Muhammad Fazil Razvi Kavalkatte inaugurated the programme. Aboobakar Nejar presided over. K P Husain Saadi of K C Road delivered the keynote address.

S P Hamza Saqafi Bantwal, P P Ahmed Saqafi Kashipatna, K N M Shafi Saadi, Usman Saadi Pattori among others were present.

The swearing in ceremony was followed by a programme to commemorate former Qadhi Marhoom Bekal Ibraheem Musliyar under the leadership of Sayyid Mukhtar Tangal.

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Agencies
October 23,2020

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New Delhi, Oct 23: The Delhi High Court on Friday said Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami can use the tagline NATION WANTS TO KNOW' as part of his speech or presentation.

The high court noted in its order that Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd, which has filed a suit against Goswami or ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd, which owns Republic TV, has submitted that the journalist is free to use the same as part of his speech/presentation of any news channel.

However, if Goswami or ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd choose to use NATION WANTS TO KNOW' as a trade mark regarding any of their goods/ services, they will have to maintain accounts for such usage and the accounts shall be filed in court regularly, it said.

Regarding the tagline NATION WANTS TO KNOW, no interim order is passed at this stage in favour of the plaintiff (Bennett Coleman). As submitted by the learned counsel for the plaintiff, defendant No. 2 (Goswami) is free to use the same as part of his speech/presentation of any news channel, etc, Justice Jayant Nath said.

Meanwhile, the court allowed an interim application of Bennett Coleman group and passed an interim injunction in its favour and against the defendants retraining them from using the trademark NEWSHOUR' or any other mark which is deceptively similar to the trade mark NEWSHOUR' of the Bennett Coleman.

The plaintiff has filed the suit seeking to restrain Goswami or ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd from using the trademark or title or tagline NEWSHOUR' and NATION WANTS TO KNOW' as it infringes its registered mark.

The plaintiff said Times Now' is a news channel operated by the plaintiff having several segments of programmes, one of which was launched in 2006 titled THE NEWSHOUR' pertained to discussions, panel discussions and debates on current topics.

It said Goswami, who was earlier associated with Times Now and resigned in 2016, launched his channel Republic TV' and website www.republicworld.com and they also filed trade mark applications for registration of the mark NATION WANTS TO KNOW', ARNAB GOSWAMI NEWSHOUR' and GOSWAMI NEWSHOUR SUNDAY' claiming proprietary rights.

The journalist told the high court that viewers of the two news channels are well informed, literate and can never associate or confuse between the shows or programmes aired on the respective news channels.

He claimed that the Bennett Coleman's animosity with the Republic TV is well known and publicised and hence, there is no question of any passing off in such circumstances and alleged that the proceedings have been initiated in the form of vendetta litigation and merely in a purported attempt to harass and arm-twist the defendants.

The high court said it was of the opinion that it is only after evidence has been led that it can be ascertained as to whether the plaintiff was using the aforesaid mark as a trade mark or it was merely being used as a form of speech in the course of conducting the news channel or in the course of carrying on interviews/presentations by defendant No. 2 (Goswami). These are aspects on which, prima facie, no view can be made at this stage based on the documents placed on record, namely, screen shots of various sites of Twitter, Facebook, etc.

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