Mohey, the bridal wear brand under clothing brand Manyavar, has found itself in hot water in India following the release of a recent brand campaign featuring actor Alia Bhatt.
In the ad, speaks up against the traditional Indian ritual of the 'Kanyadaan', in which parents give away their daughter to the groom. She questions why she is often referred to as a temporary member of her birth family, who is destined to leave someday. She asks why she alone is made to feel like a commodity that is being donated. The tagline of the film reads, “Tradition wahi, soch nayi” (Same tradition, different thinking).
The ad tweaks the thought behind the tradition, showcasing how just like the groom, the bride too asks for the gift of the groom as an addition to the Hindu wedding rituals. The parents are then seen offering their children to the opposite families, suggesting an equal exchange.
Questioning the tradition has angered some poeple, who took to social media to express themselves. Some called the ad an insult to Hindu tradition and called for a boycott, with at least one user claiming to have filed an official complaint with authorities.
The ad has also become a focal point for Hindu-Muslim animosity. Some users compared Hindu marriage traditions with the now outlawed tradition of triple talaq, which was practiced by some people of Muslim faith, and other practices such as polygamy.
#boycottmanyavar @Manyavar_ You want us to buy your stuff and also tolerate your pseudo-moral lectures? Why don't you try not to humilate your customers and stick to selling clothes? https://t.co/K12xm4C8t4— Eren Jaeger (@dank_rajput) September 20, 2021
#Manyavar— Road Runner (@iwinfairly) September 20, 2021
• Feminist advertisement featuring #AliaBhatt hurts religious sentiments
• Filed petition with competent authorities seeking removal of ad
• Pl raise complaints via https://t.co/yUODuFMh7Y
#BoycottManyavar #BoycottMohey #YouthToday pic.twitter.com/BjTvd4yAtV
In the past, jewellery brand Tanishq found itself in a similar situation owing to the release of its two brand films from the 'Ekatvam' series. One of the films showcased the Indian ritual of 'godbharai' and the other promoted a fireworks-free Diwali in view of being eco-friendly. Both the films were deemed anti-Hindu by critics, and the brand eventually took both down.
Campaign India has reached out to Manyavar for a response.