The advertisement had depicted the preparations of a baby shower of a Hindu woman who has married into a Muslim household.

A screengrab of the Tanishq advertisement which shows a Hindu woman with her Muslim mother-in-lawScreengrab
news Controversy Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 12:50

Jewellery brand Tanishq has reportedly taken down the advertisement that depicted an inter-faith marriage after right-wing groups took to Twitter calling for a boycott. The trolls had 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.

Tanishq confirmed that the ad had been withdrawn and said in a statement that it did so keeping in mind the hurt sentiments and well-being of its employees, partners and store staff.

“The idea behind the Ekatvam 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. This film has stimulated divergent and severe reactions, contrary to its very objective,” a company spokesperson said.

“We are deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions and withdraw this film keeping in mind the hurt sentiments and well-being of our employees, partners and store staff,” the spokesperson added.

Several people, however, had supported the brand and its advertisement and condemned the ‘divisive’ calls to boycott. 

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter to call out the ‘Hindutva bigots’ who opposed the advertisement. “⁩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?” he tweeted on Tuesday morning. 

Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi also took to Twitter to voice support for Tanishq. “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.”

Several others said that they were disappointed that the advertisement has been taken down.

The advertisement which had been released on Youtube has also been made private.

#BoycottTanishq was trending through the day on Monday as trolls questioned the company for showing the advertisement that depicted a baby shower of a Hindu woman who had married into a Muslim household. The ad showed a Muslim family preparing for a Hindu-rituals of the baby shower and when the pregnant 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. Titled 'A confluence', the ad was broadcast as part of Tanishq's 'Ekatvam' collection of jewellery being released ahead of Diwali.

Ironically, the claim propagated by many on Twitter, including BJP members, against the advertisement, has been 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.

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