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 😃
27 thoughts on “The Tanishq Ad Controversy – My Take”
I watched the ad after it happened(Don’t really watch TV) and didn’t really get the love jihad feel even after listening, watching all the outrage on twitter. The moment I finished it, I was like, ‘What was in there to be sensitive about?’ Yep, The acting was a tad bit not convincing, a little too sweet and forced for me but it WASN’T promoting anything but harmony.
The outrage was just one person wanting to get offended and others following the bandwagon.
I agree. Most of the noise is often politically motivated. If we don’t trace back the source and reason of any disruption, we end up getting trapped in something that shouldn’t have been escalated
You should watch “the social dilemma”, it says just that
I’ll watch it
I really don’t understand what is happening around the world. So much hate, crimes, suicides, social media trolling. I guess this is what Kalyug is. Few people have just lost their judgement in their quest for what is wrong or right.
True. They have lost the bigger picture of peace and humanity.
Agree with everything written here.. I was Infact shocked when I saw boycott Tanishq trending on Twitter and when I got to know the reason more than shocked I was sad.. sad how ppl have started connecting anything and everything to match their own beliefs .. I was upset thinking how could ppl even thinking of boycotting something that promotes communal harmony and secondly I also realised how ppl turn against anyone if they don’t fit into their beliefs .. and here we are talking abt TATA and don even get me started on how they have always been with the nation in many different ways .
Exactly, my point here!!!
TATA is not some random organization who will take part in a mischievous activity to trigger outrage and instigate disharmony.
People didn’t even think once that negativity might not be the intention of the company.
No matter how good you have been in the past, no one cares.
Also, it was very sad for me as a writer too. Will writers have to think about public sentiments and write?? Do we have to portray a community in a certain way, or else we will be boycotted??
I refuse to follow any such rule.
The writers and makers of the ad were only being genuine.
It was really shocking .. for me all these communal conflicts was a very new thing when I first joined twitter.. Becoz I have grown up in an environment where there is absolutely no such indifferences.. my dad was a teacher and I would see his students come and wish him specially on different festivals with all the sweets and savouries .. no matter if it was Eid or Diwali or holi.. there was no difference & that’s how I grew up .. Even when I moved to hostel for bachelors we had everyone together and never for once we had such nonsense things coming up anytime even for just talks ..same happened at workplace too.. no matter what religion, which state or which language we were all one.. but then after I joined twitter I saw a completely different world.. but I was still hopeful that it’s just certain ppl who are meant to spread such negativity on SNS.. but then this boycott has completely brought down all my hopes ..☹️
What you have mentioned is the true spirit of India. Barring a few incidents which are unavoidable in a country of 138 crores.
This is contrary to what they will try their best to make you believe if you join social media.
I have been brought up in a similar environment as you. Medical college and Post-Graduation in Hyderabad too were no different, where two-thirds of students in my batch were Muslims. Never felt any difference at any level.
I really don’t understand these Hindu-Muslim fights when we can understand, respect eachother.Infact in my school my bestfriend is muslim and we go to eachother homes during festivals especially during ramzan my friends mom likes me alot and she packs extra kheer for my family as its my favourite
Aslo its a coincidence that my mother bestfriend in school is muslim and whenever they meet they behave like school kids😂
Also i really liked that ad
And we have hundreds of such examples, opposed to what they depict in social media.
If you can’t love someone, stay neutral. At best, avoid.
There is no need to hate people if you don’t agree with a certain point of view. Differences in opinion can co-exist!!
I totally agree with you
I too agree with you diii
Koi achha kam kare to mirchi lag jati hai samaj ko idiots…
One surprising fact in my home also my dad opposed the ad.
And if I try to correct him he will think I may also take this step.
I can’t believe I have family…
In which either they have orthodox shitty thinking or I am too modern..
Marriage is bond of love not these Samaj k log comes and sponsor their wedding still they will comment..
Each to their opinion, Divyanshi.
Some people have faced discrimination and hence, they are strongly prejudiced. Both sides.
The problems rooted in the society should be addressed. Not brushed under the carpet.
Even if they are orthodox too, they should justify – why they are opposing something?
I didn’t see any reason to be offended by the ad, so I asked my mom. Both of my parents, thankfully, did not see any problem in the ad.
I agree with you there, I don’t understand why the advertisement was bashed so much. I read someone comment saying “The DIL looked intimidated in that house, as if it is not her own house and it shows that one religion wants to be superior”. All DILs feel a little intimidated in their in laws house, plus probably the DIL was awkward with all the attention on her! People just need a reason to create divides nowadays, and blind followers of certain political parties aggravate that divide. I am ranting but the things going on right now piss me off big time.
Same here, Ruchi. I was baffled when I read the comments asking for the boycott. Since then, I must have read a hundred posts, blogs, or opinions but none made sense.
One person also noticed that the girl is dark and the MIL & family are fair. So it means, they want to show superiority of one religion over another 🤦♀️
I have no words for this level of understanding.
The ad was perfectly fine, according to me.
I just realized Tata does not belong to any of the religions depicted in the ad, infact they are the minority in India yet so peace loving, this just made me more sad 🙁
That’s true, Ruchi. And they have been there since ages. JRD Tata has left a legacy that has shaped India to be where we are right now.
Leave alone, being grateful, people are threatening them for a simple ad.
I don knw in which direction our country is moving.. In highschool and college i had more hindu friends.. Even boys too. I used to tie them raaki on raksha bandhan day.. I used phone them to ask about assignments, at tat time i used to talk their sisters and parents. And my parents and brother knew abt it. But both side i dint face any troubles. But from wher all this hatred is coming from.. Recently i called one of my friend, just to ask y all r hating us so much,,… I am feeling so much scared to go back to india.. Bcos its not possible to travel alone for a women,, whenever i open social networks there will be something or otherthings which scares me a lot rape, murder etc etc… Y education is not helping anyone.. Why people r brain washed so easily…!!
And if we talk about in laws there is lot to talk… Even if we marry to same cast or relegion, which girl will say tat she s 100% happy and respected at her in laws.. Ther will be very very few..
I watch news on YouTube about these topics, and then move to the comments section, where users like you and me express outrage about crimes like rape and even about the current violence which has gripped the country. That fills me with hope 🙂 The world is not that bad dear 🙂 Social media trolls are a very small percentage of the world 🙂
I agree with you. There is always hope and social media does not represent an entire population. In fact, most of my doctors’ batch, relatives and friends are not even on social media.
They cannot be represented by any IT cell to speak on their behalf.
So true, Ayesha. In laws are different than parents for most of the girls and there is definitely a prejudice involved. Every girl is a little intimidated, at least in the beginning.
Lets rise our kids with good values…. Lets work together for unity of our country… Hope we get success in it..
I’m doing my bit. Hope the world becomes a better place to live.
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