DMK Member of Parliament Kanimozhi questioned the Tamil Nadu government over its stand on the recent controversy over the Tanishq advertisement that was pulled down after rightwing Twitter and trolls targeted it for showing an interfaith marriage. Kanimozhi pointed out that the Tamil Nadu government is a major shareholder in Tanishq and asked what Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami’s stand on the controversy was.
“TN government is a major shareholder in @TanishqJewelry. TN is a state which had always stood for secularism. What is the stand of @CMOTamilNadu on the controversy surrounding the advertisement of Tanishq?” Kanimozhi tweeted.
TN government is a major shareholder in @TanishqJewelry. TN is a state which had always stood for secularism. What is the stand of @CMOTamilNadu on the controversy surrounding the advertisement of Tanishq?#TanishqAd #TanishqEkatvam pic.twitter.com/98umFCvIP5— Kanimozhi (கனிமொழி) (@KanimozhiDMK) October 14, 2020
Tanishq’s parent company, Titan Company Limited (Titan) was founded as a joint venture between the TATA Group and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) back in 1984. Of the 53% promoter stake in the company, TIDCO has a 28 per cent stake, while the Tata Group holds 25 percent. This makes the Tamil Nadu government enterprise a major shareholder in the company. Foreign Institutional Investors, Mutual Fund schemes and public make up the remaining shareholders in the company.
The row began when jewellery brand Tanishq released an advertisement depicting an inter-faith marriage, showing a Muslim family preparing for a Hindu-rituals of the baby shower of their pregnant daughter-in-law, who is shown to be a Hindu. The advertisement was later taken down after right-wing groups took to Twitter calling for a boycott, claiming 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.
Several users had expressed support for Tanishq and lamented that the group had chosen to take down the advertisement. Tanishq issued an official statement that it pulled the advertisement keeping in mind the hurt sentiments and well-being of its employees, partners and store staff. Reports later emerged that a Tanishq jewellery showroom in Gujarat had put up a note on its door, apologising to Hindus in the district over 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? pic.twitter.com/cV0LpWzjda— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 13, 2020