A month after Tanishq came under fire for an ad that showed a Hindu-Muslim interfaith marriage with a message of communal harmony, the jewelry brand is being attacked yet again. This time, the ad which features four women, has one of them saying that she wouldn't be bursting crackers and feels others shouldn't be doing so either. Several right wing social media handles outraged over the ad, alleging that it was against Hindu culture and tradition.
The ad, which has now been taken down, features actors Neena Gupta, Sayani Gupta, Alaya F and Nimrat Kaur. The four women are shown speaking about their Diwali plans, and one of them says, "Definitely no firecrackers, and I don't think anyone should light any firecrackers, but lots of diyas and hopefully lots of positivity." The emphasis of the ad is on celebrating the festival with family and loved ones.
The arguments made by those who opposed the ad are not entirely new. In the last couple of years, several social media handles with right wing affiliations have claimed that the environmental concerns raised around Diwali and even other festivals such as Holi, where water conservation has become an issue, are really an attack on Hindu festivals and traditions. Meanwhile, states like Delhi, West Bengal and Odisha have banned firecrackers over deteriorating air quality amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated increase in respiratory illnesses. Karnataka banned firecrackers initially but then rolled it back and permitted green firecrackers.
This time too, though Tanishq pulled the ad down, several users trashed the brand and alleged that the ad was “anti-Hindu”.
Why should anyone advice Hindus how to celebrate Our Festivals?— C T Ravi ಸಿ ಟಿ ರವಿ (@CTRavi_BJP) November 8, 2020
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. Please join us. You will understand Ekatvam. https://t.co/EfmNNDXWFD
Repeat after me. Don’t buy @TanishqJewelry, don’t gift Tanishq jewellery. In any case, they exploit with exorbitant making charges and their designs aren’t even that great. Buy from your local jeweller or from proudly Hindu brands! Tanishq is a disgrace.— Shefali Vaidya. (@ShefVaidya) November 9, 2020
This Diwali, let’s kill tradition, Hindu culture and promote consumerism.— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) November 8, 2020
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. https://t.co/R0O3wfSHIO
It's not about hurting Hindu sentiments anymore.— Jay Mehta (@mehta_world) November 8, 2020
It's a deliberate polarization of customers to ensure business and loyalty from the ones who'll buy from Tanishq just because there are some who'll boycott it. #tanishq #Deepawali #FirecrackersBan https://t.co/dUUbVriQ7p
However, several people also backed the ad, questioning why people were seeing it as an attack on a religion when the message was simply to not burst crackers.
And hence we should try to not burn any fire crackers, now @TanishqJewelry is trying to just trying to incorporate that social message in their ads. People are just hating something for the sake of hating and trying to find any religious angle possible.#tanishq— Shrey (@ShreyMakwana1) November 9, 2020
There is something wrong with a section of people in India.— Shravani Jena श्रावणी जेना ଶ୍ରାବଣୀ ଜେନା (@shravanijenaa) November 9, 2020
All #tanishq care about is indian people and diversity. By telling not to burn firecrackers, its only aim is prevent air pollution but no people will bring everything to religion.
After the backlash, actor Sayani Gupta, who is the one who says in the ad she would not burst firecrackers and doesn't think anyone should too, responded on Twitter. Quoting an NDTV clip, she said that even the AIIMS director was requesting to not burst firecrackers.
Last month, the Tanishq ad that had faced ire was one that showed a Hindu daughter-in-law in a Muslim household. Right wing handles had claimed that the ad promotes ‘love jihad’, a conspiracy theory often touted by the right wing that suggests that Muslim men deliberately entrap and marry Hindu women to convert them to Islam. After vicious harassment and abuse, Tanishq pulled down the ad and apologised.
“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,” a Tanishq spokesperson had said.