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Indian brand pulls ‘Diwali’ ad with Urdu title after backlash

Fabindia accused of ‘renaming Hindu festival’

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 20, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Posted: Oct 20, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

Photo: Fabindia

Indian clothing brand Fabindia has withdrawn an advertisement for its new collection Jashn-e-Riwaaz after it was attacked online for using an Urdu title, according to reports by Indian media.

Days after its launch before Diwali, calls for ban against Fabindia started gaining momentum on Monday. According to a now deleted Twitter post, the collection highlighted India’s culture.

“As we welcome the festival of love and light, Jashn-e-Riwaaz by Fabindia is a collection that beautifully pays homage to Indian culture.”

On Tuesday, Fabindia clarified, however, that Jashn-e-Riwaaz was not a Diwali collection, but a “celebration of Indian traditions”.

Fabindia under fire for using Urdu title for Diwali campaign
Photo: Twitter

“Our Diwali collection is yet to be launched. It’s to be called Jhilmil-e-Diwali,” said a source in Fabindia.

The accusations thrown at Fabindia ranged from “renaming and damaging Diwali” to “preaching secularism on Hindu festivals”.

The campaign drew ire from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party too. BJP leader Tejasvi Surya targeted the brand by saying that Deewali is not Jashn-e-Riwaaz.

“Deepavali is not Jashn-e-Riwaaz,” he tweeted. “This deliberate attempt of abrahamisation of Hindu festivals, depicting models without traditional Hindu attire, must be called out.”

He added, “Brands like Fabindia must face economic costs for such deliberate misadventures.”

Some people, however, defended the brand wondering how naming a campaign in Urdu can affect the spirit of a festival.

Last month, Alia Bhatt’s Mohey advertisement had gone viral and she was attacked for questioning Kanyadan (a ritual involving a father giving away his daughter at Hindu weddings).

In 2020, jewellery brand Tanishq came under fire for its Ekavatam campaign that showed an interfaith baby shower. Consequently, the ad was taken off air.

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