The ad shows a Hindu daughter-in-law in a Muslim household.

A screenshot from the ad shows a woman in a saree, adorned with jewellery, smiling and looking away from the cameraA screenshot from the video
news Controversy Monday, October 12, 2020 - 12:52

An advertisement by jewellery brand Tanishq triggered a row after right-wing groups claimed that it was promoting 'love jihad', a popular conspiracy theory propounded by Hindutva ideologues which suggests that Muslim men deliberately marry Hindu women in order to convert them to Islam. Ironically, the claim propagated by many on Twitter, including BJP members, was deflated by their own ruling government's submission from February this year which said that “no such case of ‘Love Jihad’ has been reported by any of the central agencies” and that it was not defined under India's current laws.

Titled 'A confluence', the ad was broadcast as part of Tanishq's 'Ekatvam' collection of jewellery being released ahead of Diwali. The ad shows a Muslim family busy in preparations for a Hindu ritual for their pregnant daughter-in-law. When the daughter-in-law points out to the mother-in-law that these rituals were not a tradition at their place, the latter replies that keeping a daughter happy was a tradition in all homes.

"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," Tanishq said in its description of the video on YouTube.

Watch the advertisement below.

However, a section of Twitter users took offence at the ad and tweeted with the hashtag #BoycottTanishq, which started trending in India. They claimed that the company was showing a Hindu daughter-in-law in a Muslim family and asked if they could turn the tables, and show a Muslim woman marrying into a Hindu family, without evoking outrage. 

Many users on Twitter, however, were quick to slam the communal narrative. 

Others dropped in on the trend, with some humour. 

Last year, an advertisement for detergent brand Surf Excel had sparked similar bigotry on social media with many tweeting with the hashtag #BoycottSurfExcel and claiming that the ad went against the Hindu religion.

The ad showed a young girl, dressed in white, cycling through a colony which was celebrating Holi and choosing to let her clothes get stained so that her Muslim friend, who is dressed in sparkly white, can go to the mosque to pray without being splashed with colours.

Watch the ad below.