Advertisement of ‘Manyavar’ tries to portray ‘Kanyadaan’ as regressive, faces backlash from devout Hindus

Editorial comments

  • Hindus should boycott companies that try to mislead Hindus by attacking Hindus’  Dharmashastra, customs, and traditions.   
  • Hindu-haters know that they get easy and extensive publicity by criticising Hindus’ customs and traditions; therefore, Hindus’ religious sentiments are trampled time and again. Now, the upset Hindus feel that the Government should pass a stringent law at the national level against those who attack Hindus’ faiths and sentiments.
  • Hindus should introspect rather than feeling bad when their religious sentiments are hurt and create such standing in society that nobody would dare to hurt their feelings !
  • Why doesn’t the company that is opposing ‘Kanyadaan’, change its name ? The company should not forget that only with Hindus’ support, has it been doing good business and should apologise for hurting Hindus’ sentiments !
  • Upset Hindus feel that the Government should pass a stringent law against those who attack the seats of faith of Hindus !

Mumbai – Clothing brand Manyavar finds itself in the midst of a controversy after one of its recently released advertisements again painted Hindu rituals and customs as ‘regressive’. The advertisement featuring Alia Bhatt portrays ‘Kanyadaan’ as an oppressive practice and suggests ‘Kanyamaan’ as an alternative.

Manyavar claimed that it was ‘Promoting a progressive way of thinking, one tradition at a time !’ Apparently, ‘Kanyamaan’ gives a new spin to wedding rituals, highlighting the idea of respecting brides instead of ‘giving them away’.

The campaign against the Hindu ritual of Kanyadaan has drawn sharp criticism on social media, with people incensed that time and again only Hindu customs and traditions are targeted while actual oppressive customs of other faiths get a free pass from brands. People criticised the selectivity of brands repeatedly targeting only Hindu rituals.

Social media users rued the fact that not enough awareness is raised against practices such as Nikah-Halala and Triple Talaq, but brands have launched a crusade against Hindu traditions.

Others pointed out the stupidity of the whole advertisement, especially at a time when Hindu women have made such great achievements in every walk of life.

Needless to say, this isn’t the first time that brands have targeted a Hindu ritual for their marketing campaign. In recent times, many brands, most notably Tanishq, have received severe backlash for their misguided activism.

Brands have time and again targeted the Hindu faith as they are clearly too afraid to raise awareness about the problematic practices of other faiths.

It is clear that the Hindus are not pleased with the singling out of their religion for overt attacks, as is evident with the backlash against Manyavar. The premise of the whole ad is bizarre, given that the brand is perfectly aware that what they are suggesting is completely cynical and makes no sense at all.

They are completely aware that nobody will change ancient customs based on the recommendation of a clothing brand, and yet, they do not really care as it is only about a marketing gimmick and nothing else. Their silence over customs of other faiths that actually harm women does end up revealing a lot about their misguided moral compass.

Various Hindu organisations protested against this advertisement. “The company should apologise unconditionally to Hindus and immediately withdraw this advertisement”, demanded Dr Uday Dhuri (Spokesperson of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti) outside the showroom of ‘Manyavar’ at Vashi (Navi Mumbai).

“In no other religion women are respected as in Hindu Dharma. Women are worshipped as a form of ‘Adishakti’, whereas other religions don’t give such respect to women. If this advertisement is not withdrawn, the protests will intensify”, warned Dr Uday Dhuri.