A store of popular jewellery brand Tanishq was reportedly targeted by a mob on Monday night in Gujarat’s Kutch district amid row over an advertisement that has been withdrawn after vicious trolling on social media.
“Some people had informed the store the ad was not in good taste and had hurt sentiments and some threat calls had been received. The police have been regularly patrolling the area. No ransacking, rioting, protest or attack took place,” a police officer said.
The manager of Tanishq’s Gandhidham store was reportedly made to write an apology note by the mob on Monday night. “The ad is shameful and we apologise (sic),” the manager is said to have written in the note, which was pasted by the mob on the store.
The advertisement – released last week – was trolled by a section on social media who felt it “promoted love jihad”. The vicious trolling, however, was condemned by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, author Chetan Bhagat, among many others, who said it was against the Idea of India.
The ad was removed from official accounts of the jewellery brand on Monday night as a barrage of comments directed at the brand and Ratan Tata (under whose Tata Company, Tanishq rolls up) continued.
On Tuesday, Tanishq issued a statement saying it was “deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions” and that it was withdrawing the video. “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,” the statement read.
One of Tanishq’s brand manager in Bengaluru has also been subjected to trolling, sources said, stressing that he was not even associated with the campaign. Titan stock fell sharply amid the trolling on Tuesday, ending 2.1 per cent down on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and 2.5 per cent down on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
The ad shows a pregnant woman in a sari escorted by a woman she calls “ma (mother)” to an interfaith baby shower ceremony. At the end, the young woman asks the older woman, apparently her mother-in-law, “but this ceremony is not held at your home…”.
The mother-in-law, wearing a suit and her head covered with a dupatta, replies: “Isn’t it a tradition for every home to keep daughters happy?”