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Is Tanishq Promoting “Love Jihad”?

Posted: October 17, 2020

A country which takes pride in its secularist existence chose to create a havoc when people of different religions were shown to be a couple.

Recently caught amongst a controversy is the new advertisement of Tanishq’s Ekatvam collection. It starts with the narration by actress Divya Dutta and follows on to showcase how a Muslim family accommodates the rituals of a South Indian baby shower to make their daughter-in-law feel at home.

The message clearly is to promote secularism, but it was somehow attacked with the accusations of promoting “love jihad”. (For anyone who is not aware, ‘love jihad’ is a notion which believes that Muslim men target non-muslim women to coax them into accepting Islam under the pretext of marriage.)

#BoycottTanishq makes no sense

Owing to such bizarre allegations and the roundings of tags like #BoycottTanishq, the company had to strip off the ad to prevent any harm to anyone working for them and with them. This not only saddened the company, the advertisement makers and Dutta, but also disheartened the Indians who stood in support of the commercial.

Now, here are some things which are fundamentally wrong with this whole issue. First, who are we to decide who marries whom, except the two people actually involved in it. Second, would there have been an uproar had it been some other religions, but Hinduism and Islam? Probably not.

A country which takes pride in its secularist existence chose to create a havoc when people of two different religions were shown to be a couple. It’s scary and baffling to notice how many Indians decided to oppose such an advertisement with a noble message. One even dared to claim that he was not islamophobic, but “what’s wrong is wrong”.

This notion, such hatred, and this whole concept of ‘love jihad’ is the very paradigm of the country’s toxic concept of culture. Had it been two other religions, but Hinduism and Islam, or had there been a switch for even one of these with some other religion, we would not be having this discussion. Yet, here we are.

It’s sad how the aforementioned derogatory terms and phrases only find their way into some of our vocabulary when we talk about Muslims. It’s times like these that make me wonder, “Kon hain yeh log? Kahan se aate hain yeh log?” (“Yeh log” are the islamophobes.)

Picture Credits: Still from Tanishq Commercial

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Rishika is an undergraduate student of English literature and Psychology at the University of Allahabad.

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