An advertisement made by a jewellery company was boycotted.
Not just any dubious company, but its Tanishq – a Tata enterprise – a group who is known for its patriotism, values, culture, and loyalty to India, who have donated hundreds of crores of money in every tragedy or pain the nation has faced. Their intentions can never be doubted. Never.
An advertisement promoting communal harmony that lasted hardly a few seconds was not tolerated. It had to be taken down by the company with an apology letter for hurting public sentiments.
An advertisement with no abuse, no derogatory language, no fights, no cuss words, no racial or snide slurs, no mocking or disrespecting of religions or hurting people of any particular group – basically nothing negative – has managed to trigger us.
Where are we going?
Are we going to oppose and outrage against peace initiatives, as well? Are we going to stick to questions like – ‘But, what about them???’
This is not the first time, it has happened. There have been many advertisements, promos, films made in the past that have tried to talk about communal harmony and National integration. And they were all pulled down, because of the outrage and threat from both communities at different times.
The issue doesn’t lie with one community. And the issue is not new. We have had a history of bitter fights, H-M clashes, difference of opinion, animosity at various levels, as severe as riots, for various reasons. That discussion is never ending. And I am not here to discuss that because this is not the correct platform and I am no authority.
I am here to discuss a few specific things, like why I feel that we are fueling unnecessary incidents, subtly promoting hatred, and gradually increasing the divide.
I have something to say about this incident. You may or may not agree with me but since it is my blog, I will go ahead and say it –
An advertisement is an expression of art and creativity. Attack on any creative form is gagging freedom of expression. An artist tried to represent peace in an ‘ideal’ form. I say -‘ideal’ – because it may or may not be far from reality as many have been accusing it as unrealistic. Firstly, it is not impossible. I’ve had 2 doctor friends married in Muslim households and they are very happy.
Even if I believe that they are exceptions, even then, I would say that which ad or film or book depicts absolute reality? They are all our pretty aspirations of an ideal happy society. What’s wrong in hoping for that? Where did the maker or the writer go wrong?
They simply used their power of expression in a certain positive way but it didn’t go down well with some people.
I don’t know what to say because I found nothing offensive in that ad.
Previously, as well, I’ve had my questions. But as soon as we ask questions on social media, we are labeled with offensive names. I was trolled so I stopped asking them. I didn’t feel the need to explain my intentions to anyone. But I realise that it is not the solution.
Clearly, lack of communication is not taking us anywhere. Maybe talking would help. At least, we can hope for that.
I showed the ad to my mom. She watched it and loved the necklace gifted to the girl in that ad. Then, I asked her if she found anything offensive in that ad. She refused.
If I speak for myself – As a doctor, I don’t discriminate between my patients. I don’t treat them as per their religion. In my personal space, I have more Muslim friends, than Hindus. Mainly, because I have lived and studied in Hyderabad. Interestingly, they are the ones least offended by my questions and doubts.
My close friends have had inter-faith marriages and they are in their tenth or fifteenth year of marriage. My readers were always from all communities. Not only communities, but several different countries.
I was never taught to hate anyone. Ever.
So, for me, it is difficult to understand the outrage over a sweet ad.
For a crime, murder, deception…yes, you should outrage and get the criminals punished and arrested. But that should be a universal and equal phenomenon. Not related to religions.
Attempts to talk about peace, however small, should not be disregarded. They are the only hope for humanity.
A section of people with a certain opinion doesn’t constitute the sentiments of an entire community.
We need to choose – Whether we want to bridge the gaps? Or create more divide?
Lots of love.
PS – If you have any positive words to write, any incident that promotes harmony, or your own experience, please share in the comments.
If you troll, spread negativity, or write hateful comments, kindly reserve your opinion for yourself, or else, I will delete them.
There is no place for disharmony and fights on my blog.
Perks of having your own blog 😃