Dabur withdraws same-sex Karva Chauth ad after backlash

Dabur withdraws same-sex Karva Chauth ad after backlash

The consumer goods maker initially backed its campaign, stating that it stood for 'diversity, inclusion and equality'

A still from the ad. Credit: Twitter/@baxiabhishek

Dabur India, which came under pressure from multiple sides for its Karva Chauth campaign, has withdrawn the advertisement from all social media platforms, the company announced on Twitter on Monday.

The campaign, meant to advertise Dabur's fairness bleach brand Fem, showed a same-sex couple observing Karva Chauth, a practice followed by women in certain parts of the country wherein they undertake a fast from sunrise to moonrise for their spouse's health and long life.

While a section of netizens slammed Dabur for promoting what they believed to be a 'regressive' and 'patriarchal practice', another section, including Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra, threatened legal action over the depiction of the celebration of a Hindu ritual by lesbians.

Also Read | Same-sex couple in Karwa Chauth ad draws mixed reactions

“I consider this a serious matter. More so because such advertisements and clippings are made on the rituals of Hindu festivals only. They (the advertisement) showed lesbians celebrating Karva Chauth and seeing each other through a sieve. In future, they will show two men taking 'feras' (marrying each other according to Hindu rituals). This is objectionable,” Mishra told reporters on Monday.

The state home minister had directed the DGP (Director General of Police) to ask the company to withdraw this advertisement. "And if it fails to do so, take legal steps after examining the advertisement," he added.

Also Read | FabIndia withdraws advertisement after social media row

The consumer goods maker initially backed its campaign, stating that it stood for "diversity, inclusion and equality." "We understand that not everyone will agree with our stance, and we respect their right to hold a different point of view," the statement read.

Later in the day, it announced that it had withdrawn its campaign from all its social media handles and issued an unconditional apology for "unintentionally hurting people's sentiments."

Attacks on corporate houses on such progressive commercials are on the rise in recent times.

A week earlier, ethnic and traditional apparel maker FabIndia removed a promotional capsule about its new festive line after backlash from right-wing groups on social media platforms.

Prior to that, Tata Group's jewellery brand Tanishq was forced to withdraw an advertisement that showed an interfaith couple at a baby shower organised for the Hindu bride by her Muslim in-laws. It withdrew the advertisement after trolling soon spread to physical threats to company employees and stores.

Clothing brand Manyavar too was at the receiving end when its advertisement featuring Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt in wedding attire, appeared to question an old tradition.

(With inputs from PTI)

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