Last October, jewellery brand Tanishq was forced to withdraw an ad campaign in similar fashion
NEW DELHI — Clothing brand Fabindia pulled down a campaign tweet on Diwali collection after Hindu nationalists, including Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, trolled it for using Urdu phrase to describe Diwali festival.
The brand had put out a tweet that called Diwali “Jashn-e-Riwaaz”, a festival of costumes. But it did not go down well with Hindutva supporters who said the use of an Urdu phrase hurt the sentiments of Hindus.
Deepavali is not Jash-e-Riwaaz.
This deliberate attempt of abrahamisation of Hindu festivals, depicting models without traditional Hindu attires, must be called out.
— Tejasvi Surya (@Tejasvi_Surya) October 18, 2021
“Deepavali is not Jash[n]-e-Riwaaz,” BJP MP from Bangalore Tejasvi Surya said in a tweet. “This deliberate attempt of abrahamisation of Hindu festivals, depicting models without traditional Hindu attires, must be called out. And brands like Fabindia must face economic costs for such deliberate misadventures.”
The hashtag #BoycottFabIndia was among top trends on twitter for some time as trolls stormed the campaign against the company. It also trended on Tuesday morning on the internet.
— Rajkumar MLA (@rajkumarmla1) October 18, 2021
This is not the first time that Hindutva supporters have forced a brand to backtrack over ad campaigns that they said did not align with their ideology.
Tanishq, a jewelry brand withdrew an ad in October last year after Hindutva trolls accused it of promoting “love Jihad” as it showed a baby shower for an interfaith couple.
The Fabindia move following backlash from Hindutva supporters evoked criticism from liberal voices who said that Urdu is not a foreign language but has roots in India.
These are not foreign brands. They are completely homegrown brands. With the exception of Tanishq, they are all started by first generation entrepreneurs.
Imagine the message it gives budding entrepreneurs in India today.
— peeleraja (@peeleraja) October 18, 2021
Urdu is Indian, Fascism is foreign! https://t.co/xTgJ0j5oZG
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) October 18, 2021
A sign of the times that some lawmakers have the time and energy to run a campaign to boycott FabIndia. Guess they have no answers to rising prices and escalating hate in every form so boycott this and boycott that.
— Saba Naqvi (@_sabanaqvi) October 18, 2021