Communalism

Trolled by Rightwing for Depicting Mixed-Community Home, Jewellery Brand Tanishq Pulls Ad

Through Monday, the hashtag #BoycottTanishq was used to allege that the ad furthered 'love jihad', a term concocted by Hindutva groups used to describe an imaginary Muslim conspiracy to convert unsuspecting Hindu women to Islam.

New Delhi: Tanishq, the jewellery brand that has been on the receiving end of hatred by a section of social media users since its new ad showing a mixed-community household was released, has withdrawn the ad film, according to reports.

The ad shows a north Indian family, ostensibly Muslim, organising Kerala’s famous ‘pulikudi’ ritual for their pregnant Malayalee daughter-in-law, presumably Hindu.

The short ad shows a house bustling with members decorating it and preparing the tamarind drink that is at the centre of the Kerala ritual.

In the end, the daughter-in-law is touched and remarks aloud to her mother-in-law, “But this ritual is not normally followed in your house, is it?”, indicating her surprise that they put it together just for her. To this, the Muslim mother-in-law says that the ritual they are following is of keeping daughters happy.


Through Monday, the hashtag #BoycottTanishq was used my rightwing activists who took offence to the portrayal of a Hindu woman in a Muslim house. Some, quite oblivious to the regional dimension of the ad, reduced it to religion and demanded a reversal of the fictional religious identities.

In fact, the pulikudi ritual, common in the Nair community in Kerala, is organised precisely to celebrate a daughter-in-law’s first pregnancy.

Rightwing portals ran items comparing this depiction of an interfaith marriage with the Sangh parivar’s coinage, “love jihad” – a concocted phrase used to describe an imaginary Muslim conspiracy to convert unsuspecting Hindu women to Islam.

Tanishq is a division of Titan, a company promoted by the Tata Group in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation. The featured campaign, lauded in equal measure as a mark of united India, is called ‘ekatvam’, which literally translates to ‘oneness’.

Actor Divya Dutta, the voice which narrates the ad on Tuesday said it was disheartening that the jewellery brand withdrew the commercial following the backlash.