The right-wing ecosystem in India is calling for a boycott of Fabindia after the ethnic brand used an Urdu phrase in a campaign for the upcoming festival of Diwali.
On October 9, Fabindia advertised their Diwali collection by the name ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’ which has been featured by Vogue. The brand tweeted, “As we welcome the festival of love and light, Jashn-e-Riwaaz by Fabindia is a collection that beautifully pays homage to Indian culture.”
The tweet was promptly removed by Fabindia after #BoycottFabIndia started trending on Twitter furiously. Other than that, tweets by several people prompted the clothing brand to take down the tweet quickly.
BJP Yuva Morcha president Tejasvi Surya slammed the advertisement campaign by the apparel brand saying that “Deepavali is not Jashn-e-Riwaaz”. Tejasvi Surya also said that Fabindia “must face economic costs for such deliberate misadventures”.
The right-wing is accusing Fabindia of “de-Hinduising” and “defacing” Diwali. Many slammed the brand for unnecessarily uplifting secularism and Muslim ideologies in a Hindu festival and even claimed that they will no longer buy anything from Fabindia and also called on others to boycott the brand’s products.
Last year, Tanishq, a famous jewellery brand, had withdrawn a television advertisement campaign after calls for the boycott of the brand for depicting an interfaith marriage. The ‘Ekatvam’ campaign by Tanishq showed a Muslim family preparing a traditional Hindu baby shower for their pregnant Hindu daughter-in-law. The description of the video read, “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.”
The campaign was criticized on social media by the members of the Hindu right-wing who accused the brand of promoting “love jihad” and made the #BoycottTanishq trend on Twitter. However, as fury against the advertisement grew, Tanishq officially removed the video from all their platforms.
A month later, Tanishq was again targeted for its ad on Diwali.
The ad featured four independent actors Sayani Gupta, Neena Gupta, Alaya F and Nimrat Kaur talking about what they love about Diwali and how they are going to celebrate the festival this year. The ad is about female companionship and oneness. It was about celebrating Diwali with family and not bursting crackers was just one of the messages they gave.
But, the ad did not go well with the right-wing who criticised it saying that “an ad should not advise Hindus how to celebrate their festivals.”