The backlash against an Indian jewellery advert with a Hindu-Muslim couple makes me despair

Source: Independent

The Twitter storm over Tanishq advert about an interfaith marriage and family proves India is no longer a secular nation in anything but its constitution

This past weekend, when I logged into Twitter, I saw “#boycottTanishq” trending. Tanishq, an Indian jewellery brand, released an advert featuring a Hindu-Muslim couple. The premise of the advert is heartfelt: a pregnant Hindu woman says to her Muslim mother-in-law, “This tradition [of baby showers] doesn’t happen in [Muslim] homes, does it?” Her mother-in-law in response says, “Keeping daughters happy is a tradition in every home, isn’t it?”

The reason people wanted to #boycottTanishq, it appeared, was because the brand was “promoting” interfaith marriages. Specifically, they were promoting Hindu-Muslim marriages in an India that the incumbent, Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sees as solely Hindu. “Love jihad” – the ridiculous, Islamophobic idea that Muslim men target non-Muslim women to “spread” their religion – was the term tweeted alongside the hashtag.  

Ironically, the advert’s title, “Ekatvam”, means “unity” or “oneness”. 

I didn’t think much of this Twitter storm, they’re daily in India where the BJP has an “IT cell” – purportedly a vast network of paid tweeters and WhatsAppers, who earn a living getting certain topics to trend and making tidbits of fake news go viral.

Read further

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1 reply

  1. As the BJP continues on its path to make India more Hindu, rewriting our history books to conform to the idea of Hindu glory, spearing through our secular identity by passing a citizenship amendment act that deliberately excludes immigrant Muslims for Indian citizenship, and building Hindu temples on the site where right-wing Hindus allegedly demolished a mosque and all those accused were acquitted, the India of today and tomorrow look less and less like India the day she was born. I’m reminded of the baby shower advert once more: India was, after all, born out of unity.

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