The advertisement by jewelry brand Tanishq showing an inter-faith couple stirred a storm on social media earlier this week, so much that the commercial was pulled down. The backlash had intensified to threatening the lives of its employees. A store in Gujarat’s Gandhidham was coerced into tendering an apology.
The debate has been raging on social media ever since the commercial, which shows a Hindu woman married into a Muslim family all set for her baby shower, was first launched. It faced accusations of promoting Love Jihad, a conspiracy theory used to define Muslim men cajoling Hindu women into marriage with the intention of converting them to Islam. As people vented out their anger over the ad, a section of social media users asked what would happen if the story plot was reversed to show a Muslim woman marrying in a Hindu family.
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The discourse over the issue has taken ugly turns exposing the polarised nature of the debate. However, amid all the arguments and counter-arguments, people are flooding the social media with their stories of inter-religion marriage and how their respective families have been welcoming.
Among these was actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub’s wife Rasika Agashe , who posted an old picture of her baby shower with elaborate Hindu rituals, much like what was shown in the Tanishq ad.
And the world of Internet tells us that inter-faith marriages is not an odd phenomenon in India. Muslim men marrying Hindu women, Hindu men marrying Muslim women is all common, because love has no boundaries.
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Example, this Muslim woman who married a Hindu man in 2016 wherein both the families attended the wedding ceremony.
My daughter married an Indian Muslim in USA, neither converted. Both mothers flew there when our first grand child arrived.Together we cooked, cleaned,entertained family/friends. At night groaning Ya Allah and He Ram, giggled and slept on hard mattresses. So there, ye bigots! https://t.co/62c4VL1ebd
— Mrinal Pande (@MrinalPande1) October 14, 2020
I have 4 non Muslim bahus in my family, A Punjabi,a KP, two Bengali & 2 damads one Sindhi, one Bengali, they all love &’celebrate all their festivals & culture. My family is enriched & children truly Indian unlike fake Deshbhakt. @TanishqJewelry Respect & Naman
— shahid siddiqui (@shahid_siddiqui) October 13, 2020
In fact, between all our families we have many inter-faith marriages: Hindu, Muslim, Parsi, Sikh, Jain, Jewish and Christian. Not one has seen a conversion,nor has there been any request for one. This is the India we belong to, and one we live in with pride.🇮🇳 #SaareJahanSeAchcha https://t.co/dIx55Dm7ve
— Suhasini Haidar (@suhasinih) October 14, 2020
Everyone saying #Tanishq ad was fake and isn’t possible Meet Anjum Khan and Nutan Saxena See the elaborate godbharai of Nutan arranged by her in-laws with ‘mata ki chunni’They were blessed with a baby girl!The haters, trollers may sink in their communal caves! pic.twitter.com/FpZjepd7S5
— Dr Pooja Tripathi (@Pooja_Tripathii) October 13, 2020
Tanishq faced condemnation after it removed ad as people said that this amounted to bowing to hate politics. However, the company later issued a statement wherein it said that the employees lives were under threat after the backlash.
ALSO READ: Tanishq’s Ad Showing Hindu-Muslim Couple Didn’t End in ‘Boycott’. It Threatened Employees’ Lives
ALSO READ: ‘Don’t We All Promote Brotherhood,’ Asks Divya Dutta After Tanishq Ad Taken Off Air
Celebrities like Harsh Goenka and author Shobhaa De also expressed their dismay as to why the advertisement, which gave out a beautiful message, had to be pulled down.
The description of the Tanishq commercial reads: 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.