By Arré Bench Oct. 12, 2020
The social media boycott crew is back. This time they’ve set their targets on jewellery brand Tanishq, whose recent ad revolving around inter-faith marriage was accused of “promoting love jihad”. Ironically, the ad shows a Hindu woman married to a Muslim man, being pampered by her in-laws preparing for a baby shower.
A week after calling for the boycott of Mirzapur 2 because its star Ali Fazal and co-producer Farhan Akhtar had spoken out during the anti-CAA agitation, the social media boycott crew is back. This time they’ve set their targets on jewellery brand Tanishq, whose recent ad revolving around inter-faith marriage was accused of “promoting love jihad”.
The ad, which has been shared across social media platforms, shows a Hindu woman, married to a Muslim man, preparing for a baby shower. In it, her in-laws decide to replicate all traditions as per Hindu customs, in what the company said was an attempt to showcase a “beautiful confluence of two different religions, traditions, and cultures.”
‘One as a Nation. One as Humanity.’ That is what ‘Ekatvam’ stands for! Karigars from all over the country came together & poured in their artistry for a unique confluence. Watch how many different crafts, cultures & traditions amalgamate and become one. #TanishqEkatvam pic.twitter.com/3vEvWGqmDC
— Tanishq (@TanishqJewelry) October 12, 2020
However, not everyone agreed with Tanishq, as calls for boycott soon began to grow. Many of these social media warriors claimed the advertisement was promoting “love jihad” a term that has been gaining steam in the last few years.
Why i see Hindu daughter in law everywhere….why dont you show Muslim daughter in law anywhere. Just Asking #BoycottTanishq
— Ranzy Singh (@ranzysingh) October 12, 2020
#BoycottTanishq as @TanishqJewelry is promoting false narrative favoring a particular religion & risking lives of thousands of innocent Hindu girls, like the one Hindu girl who was recently beheaded by her husband Ezaz for not converting.
— Radharamn Das (@RadharamnDas) October 11, 2020
Here is a leading brand like @TanishqJewelry treading the one-way street that is called ‘interfaith’ marriage in India. The Hindu in the union, again, is the woman.
— Gems of Bollywood (@GemsOfBollywood) October 12, 2020
According to the conspiracy theory floated by Hindutva activists, “love jihad” takes place when Muslim men pretend to fall in love with women from Hindu families with the eventual goal to get them converted them to Islam.
The term started gaining steam on social media after a few cases of conversion were reported in Kerala and Karnataka, but has been discredited several times since.
On Monday, after a few bigots on social media began to allege the brand was promoting conversions, the hashtag “BoycottTanishq” was leading India’s Twitter trends. Even prominent IAS officers, and politicians registered their “outrage” on Twitter.
Tanishq jewellery’s ‘Ekatvam’ series’ ad projects a fictional ‘interfaith’ union, a Muslim family, a Hindu daughter-in-law being allowed to do a Hindu ritual.
— Sanjay Dixit ಸಂಜಯ್ ದೀಕ್ಷಿತ್ संजय दीक्षित (@Sanjay_Dixit) October 12, 2020
Why are you showing a Hindu “daughter in law” to a muslim family and glorifying it?
Why dont you show a Muslim daughter in law in your ads with a Hindu family?
— khemchand sharma #IStandWithFarmersBill (@SharmaKhemchand) October 12, 2020
The worst part of this misplaced outrage is that it isn’t the first time it’s happened. In March last year, the same allegations were levelled against a Surf Excel ad.
In that ad, a young girl is seen helping her neighbour finish his namaz so he could join the Holi festivities with everyone else. However, the innocence of the ad, and the bigger meaning behind it was lost on sections of social media, which once again alleged that the brand was promoting “love jihad”.
— हिंदुपुत्र तुषार दळवी (@Tushardalvi97) March 10, 2019
It’s no surprise by now that Indians have a tendency to boycott everything they don’t agree with. In the last few weeks alone, social media has attempted to boycott Kapil Sharma, Akshay Kumar’s Laxmmi Bomb and Mirzapur 2. With the sheer levels of bigotry on display in this case, maybe it’s time we boycott the boycotters instead.