Tanishq has issued a statement hours after removing an advertisement on YouTube featuring an interfaith baby shower, saying it was "deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions". The advertisement was withdrawn by the jewellery brand after a sharp backlash on social media with some accusing the company of promoting 'fake secularism' and 'love jihad'.
"The idea behind the Ekavatam campaign is to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life, local communities and families during these challenging times and celebrate the beauty of oneness. This film has stimulated divergent and severe reactions, contrary to its very objective," the statement said.
"We are deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions and withdraw this film keeping in mind the hurt sentiments and well being of our employees, partners and store staff," it added.
The 43-second commercial, which led to the hashtag #BoycottTanishq trending on Twitter, shows a pregnant woman in a sari and bindi being led to her bridal shower by a woman who later comes out as her mother-in-law.
The young woman addresses the older one in a salwar kurta and a dupatta covering her head, as 'Ma' and asks, "But you don't celebrate this custom?" The mother responds gently: "The tradition of keeping daughters happy is there in every home." A woman in a hijab, people in saris and a man in a skullcap can be seen in the backdrop.
The video-description on YouTube read: "She is married into a family that loves her like their own child. Only for her, they go out of their way to celebrate an occasion that they usually don't. A beautiful confluence of two different religions, traditions, cultures."
The advertisement triggered debate and trolling with a flurry of tweets demanding a ban on the advertisement and a boycott of the brand, a Tata product.
Meanwhile, the shares of Titan tumbled amid the trolling today, closing 2.1 per cent down on the BSE and 2.5 per cent down on the NSE.