Manyavar's Alia Bhatt ad triggers religious row
#BoycottManyavar trending on social media as the ad campaign rubs Hindus on wrong side
Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in ethnic fashion wear brand advertisement questions Kanya Daan practice, further suggests it should be Kanya Maan; Religious activists voice concern over this; Alia trolled on social media
Hyderabad: Several Hindu organisations expressed their rage on social media platforms against a digital film by ethnic fashion wear brand Manyavar. They were demanding to avoid garments of the brand as a wedding advertisement featuring Hindi actress Alia Bhatt allegedly misrepresenting the marriage rituals in Hindu Dharma, hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus.
Howrah-based Vedant Fashions Limited was mainly into the business of men's celebration collection including sherwanis, Indo-westerns, classic kurta-jackets and other accessories. Later, it introduced another brand Mohey to sell women's wedding wear. It has recently launched a digital video campaign – Kanyamaan, which proposes change in Hindu marriage rituals.
In the ad film, Alia Bhatt questions the practice of 'Kanya Daan' saying, "Daughters are not property to donate in the wedding". Instead, she suggests the bridegroom's parents to accept the girl into their family as 'KanyaMaan'. This has set the internet on fire from past couple of days. Social media users have brutally criticised both the brand and the actress.
Another Hindi actress Kangana Ranaut requested all brands not to use religion, minority, and majority politics to sell things. She asked the brands to stop manipulating naive consumer with shrewd divisive concepts and advertising. Tagging Mohey brand, she posted: "Don't become a pest who loves to abuse and condemn Hinduism just because it the most tolerant religion."
Ramesh Shinde, National spokesperson from Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), demanded Vedanta Fashions to withdraw the advertisement immediately and render an unconditional apology to Hindus. He appealed all Hindus to boycott 'Manyavar' brand until it is not done. The respect given to women under Hindu Dharma is not found in any of the other religions, he said.
"A woman is worshipped as Devi under Hindu Dharma. Every religious ritual needs a wife along with the husband; even then, Hindus are targeted. There are different customs like halala, triple talaq and polygamy are followed, and a woman is even considered as a witch in some religions. Still, nobody dares to even condemn such customs," he said.
HJS members plan to file a case against Vedant Fashion for disturbing the communal harmony and highlight the necessity to set up a Censor Board for advertisements. HJS State co-ordinator (Telangana and Andhra Pradesh) Chetan Gaadi said that the advertisement is an attempt to defame Hindu Dharma by misleading people.
He told Bizz Buzz: "VivahSanskar is an important sanskar (Vedic rituals) under Hindu Dharma and KanyaDaan is the most sublime religious ritual of the marriage sanskar. Vedant Fashions tried to portray that KanyaDaan is a wrong ritual. A girl is not something to give as offering, but the ritual is basically to honour a girl, who helps in growing the family lineage."
Many tweets with hashtag #BoycottManyavar have been trending on Twitter from Wednesday. The company's spokesperson did not answer e-mailed questions about the growing criticism against their ad campaign. Harish Bijoor, Brand Guru and Founder of Harish Bijoor Consults, says: "Brands use creative stances that wake up mindsets. Manyavar approach is one such."