• Tuesday, December 07, 2021
India corona update 
Total Fatalities 425,195
Total Cases 31,726,507
Today's Fatalities 422
Today's Cases 30,549
India corona update 
Total Fatalities 425,195
Total Cases 31,726,507
Today's Fatalities 422
Today's Cases 30,549

HEADLINE STORY

Indian retailer Fabindia slammed over ‘anti-Hindu’ ad

A protesting member of India’s Hindu right-wing camp. (Photo by NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN retailer Fabindia has pulled back an advertisement about a new festive line following a backlash from the country’s Hindu right-wing groups.
The outfits have slammed the ad for using Urdu – a language spoken by many of India’s minority Muslims – to celebrate a collection for the upcoming Hindu festival of Diwali.

The collection is titled Jashn-e-Riwaaz, an Urdu term meaning “celebration of traditions”.

ALSO READ: Indian jewellery chain Tanishq withdraws ad after outrage by Hindu hardliners

But the Hindu right-wing voices were not impressed after a tweet of the ad was posted. They said that their religious sentiments were hurt. They even accused the company, a household name in India that sells home furnishings and furniture besides clothes and food, of appropriating Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.
Fabindia also faced a backlash on social media where many users called for boycotting it. The tweet, which went viral on Monday (18), said “as we welcome the festival of love and light,” the collection “pays homage to Indian culture”.

Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha president and parliamentarian Tejasvi Surya tweeted, “Deepavali is not Jash-e-Riwaaz. This deliberate attempt of abrahamisation of Hindu festivals, depicting models without traditional Hindu attires, must be called out. And brands like @fabindiaNews must face economic cost for such deliberate misadventures.”

Author Shefali Vaidy accused FabIndia of ‘de-Hinduising’ festivals. “Wow @FabindiaNews great job at de-Hinduising Deepawali! Call it a ‘festival of love and light’, title the collection ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’, take Bindis off foreheads of models but expect Hindus to buy your overpriced, mass-produced products in the name of ‘homage to Indian culture’!” she tweeted. Soon after, the hashtag #BoycottFabindia began trending on Twitter.

A spokesperson from the company told India’s major daily Times of India that Jashn-e-Riwaaz was not its Diwali collection. Both the tweet and the ad were later withdrawn.

While Urdu has a rich history in South Asia and some of the finest literary works have been written in the language and many of the poets and writers who wrote in that language are still celebrated in India, right-wing Hindu forces have been claiming in the recent years that it is a language which is predominantly spoken by the Muslim community and it should not be used to describe Hindu rituals.

Fabindia not first brand to face backlash

Fabindia is not the first brand to face the right-wing backlash in recent years.

A recent advert by clothing brand Manyaavar, which featured actor Alia Bhatt in a wedding dress, sparked a social furore after it appeared to question an old tradition.
Last year, jewellery brand Tanishq was forced to withdraw a commercial which showed an interfaith couple at a baby shower organised for the Hindu bride by her Muslim in-laws. According to the Hindu right-wing groups, the ad promoted “love jihad” – a term that radical Hindu groups use to accuse Muslim men of converting Hindu women through marriage. The backlash didn’t just stop on social media. Physical threats also followed and even the names of some of the company’s employees were revealed online, BBC reported.

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