We are way past the debate about the possibility of becoming intolerant as a community. For we most certainly already are. Remember the row that Tanishq’s ad about an inter-faith marriage sparked online? The vitriol all because it apparently promoted ‘Love Jihad’. Yes, it is a prime example of the growing intolerance and bigotry that has stained the fabric of secularism and communal harmony in the country. But that’s not news; the problem is we haven’t learnt a thing and nothing has changed even after a year.
While last year, it was the Tanishq ad–about a Hindu girl in a Muslim household where a mother-in-law was doting on her pregnant daughter-in-law–that was withdrawn by the company after facing severe backlash, this year it is Fabindia’s Diwali ad that is receiving flak for using Urdu and the term ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’ for the name of their collection ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali. Not the festival, but their collection that was promoted as a celebration of Indian culture.
Sharing the campaign, the clothing brand wrote, “As we welcome the festival of love and light, Jashn-e-Riwaaz by Fabindia is a collection that beautifully pays homage to Indian culture.” If you haven’t seen it, the post featured men and women wearing the upcoming collection with red as the theme. But it was enough to trigger right-wing Twitter who came down hard on the brand for being ‘anti-Hindu’. Hell, they also had a problem with the absence of bindi in the same. Not just that, they called for the ban of the brand with #BoycottFabindia trending on the top spot.
It only amplified when BJP Yuva Morcha President Tejasvi Surya tweeted, “Deepavali is not Jash-e-Riwaaz. This deliberate attempt of abrahamisation of Hindu festivals, depicting models without traditional Hindu attires, must be called out. And brands like @FabindiaNews must face economic costs for such deliberate misadventures.”
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
Time to #BoycottFabIndia
They don’t deserve our money
— Kapil Mishra (@KapilMishra_IND) October 18, 2021
— Mohandas Pai (@TVMohandasPai) October 18, 2021
If @FabindiaNews is so Secular, let it serve them.
We will find a different Outlet !
— C T Ravi 🇮🇳 ಸಿ ಟಿ ರವಿ (@CTRavi_BJP) October 18, 2021
— Vandana Gupta 🇮🇳 (@im_vandy) October 18, 2021
— Rajkumar MLA (@rajkumarmla1) October 18, 2021
Every RT is knock on the door, make it count pic.twitter.com/i86ZMQnIuq
— Kreately.in (@KreatelyMedia) October 18, 2021
All these Brands (SurfExcel, Tanishq, Manyavar, CEAT) make Ads that hurt Hindu customs & religious sentiments to please Muslims, while Hindus are their main customers. So the only way to show them their status is by boycotting them outright. 👎👎#BoycottFabIndia pic.twitter.com/Mqi1MKNBH3
— ManviVerma (@ManviVe13934809) October 18, 2021
— Jake (@Jaikrishnanv) October 18, 2021
Needless to say, the ad has now been withdrawn by Fabindia clarifying that ‘Jashn-E-Riwaaz’ was not its Diwali clothing collection and they have another line titled ‘Jhil Mil se Diwali’ collection dedicated to the festival of love and light. The representatives also told NDTV, “Fabindia comes out with capsules of collections every month every 15 days, and for various Indian festivals, including Diwali, Onam and Durga Puja. ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’ means celebrations of rituals/festive celebrations.
But while that many can’t wonder about the state of affairs that have plummeted since we last checked. The kind folks are also pointing out that Urdu is ‘very much Hindustani’ and how Fabindia should look the bully in the eye and bow down.
Sware Bhasker even cracked a joke at the expense of the trend.
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) October 19, 2021
Boycott Fabindia is trending because they’ve poetically named their Diwali collection – Jashn-e-Riwaaz. This is beyond ridiculous. How does naming a collection in Urdu lessen your Diwali for you?
— shunali khullar shroff (@shunalishroff) October 18, 2021
Not only are you destabilizing a successful ‘Made In India’ brand, you are also killing the joy & inclusivity of Hinduism by hijacking Diwali. Diwali is for all; colour, language & costume no bar. It should be used to light lamps in post pandemic hearts.🎉 #jashneRiwaaz #Fabindia pic.twitter.com/cDCkRV9233
— Apurva (@Apurvasrani) October 20, 2021
Why stop at traditional “Hindu attire”?!
What about ‘phoren sweets’ in #Diwali mithai hampers?
— Rakesh Sharma (@rakeshfilm) October 19, 2021
— Faye DSouza (@fayedsouza) October 20, 2021
— MANJUL (@MANJULtoons) October 20, 2021
The tale of two advertisements. First one promoted beauty of an interfaith weddings and second one Urdu language. Both were brought down after the row on social media
Last Diwali it was Tanishq & this Diwali it is Fabindia!
Moral of the story: intolerance + a new low every year pic.twitter.com/ot8bcFvU7G
— Tabeenah Anjum (@TabeenahAnjum) October 19, 2021
Bhakts are boycotting FabIndia because it used an Urdu phrase for the Diwali clothing line.
By that logic, they should boycott Diwali too, because it has Ali in it.
— Narundar (@NarundarM) October 18, 2021
Just like kathak, Urdu is very much Hindustani. And very beautiful both.
It’s very illogical to me that someone would hate a language born in their own country, used in their songs, spoken everyday by the very same people! Strange 🤷🏻♀️ pic.twitter.com/fKc1WalIJd
— Hana Mohsin Khan | هناء (@girlpilot_) October 19, 2021
— Anu Mittal (@anushakunmittal) October 19, 2021
My advise for #Fabindia on this silly #jashneRiwaaz controversy “Look at a bully in the eye and say I don’t get scared of you, stand up to bullies!”
Urdu is an Indian language not a religious language! pic.twitter.com/WUVPWGITxe
— Tehseen Poonawalla Official 🇮🇳 (@tehseenp) October 19, 2021
— Shruti Seth (@SethShruti) October 19, 2021
Every time I see these (utterly) ridiculous debates on language, this tweet by @varungrover shines true & honest.
Forever fan of Varun and forever fan of the magic of mixing languages and words.
#Fabindia #jashneRiwaaz #भाषा pic.twitter.com/M5tn1LUG9z
— Mitali Mukherjee (@MitaliLive) October 19, 2021
Anyway, what are your thoughts about the entire episode? Tweet to us @MashableIndia and let us know!