Consumer Goods Company Dabur India Limited has withdrawn an advertisement featuring a lesbian couple celebrating the Hindu festival of Karwa Chauth, hours after Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra criticised it for showing “objectionable content” and said that legal steps would be taken if the advertisement was not withdrawn.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Mishra said, “It is a serious matter. Why clippings and advertisements are posted hurting the sentiments related to the Hindu festivals.”
“Today, they are showing two women celebrating Karva Chauth. Tomorrow, they will come up with an advertisement that shows two men getting married. We object to it,” the state Home Minister had said. The advertisement for Dabur’s beauty brand Fem showed two women performing the customary ritual between couples that involves looking at each other through a sieve.
“Dabur and Fem as a brand strive for diversity, inclusion and equality, and we proudly support these values in our organisation and within our communities. Our campaigns too reflect the same. We understand that not everyone will agree with our stance, and we respect their right to hold a different point of view. Our intention is not to offend any beliefs, customs and traditions, religious or otherwise. If we have hurt the sentiments of any individual or group, it was unintentional, and we apologise. We are also humbled by everyone who has showered their support for the brand and the campaign,” Dabur had said in a statement issued on Monday. “Fem’s Karwachauth campaign has been withdrawn from all social media handles and we unconditionally apologise for unintentionally hurting people’s sentiments,” it added.
Mishra further condemned the vandalism unleashed by Bajrang Dal activists at the sets of web series ‘Aashram 3’ in Bhopal, but extended support to the youth wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) demanding a change in the name and content of the series. “Why do you shoot scenes that hurt our sentiments? If you have the guts, why don’t you shoot scenes that are objectionable to the followers of other religions?” said Mishra.
“I have Directed DGP on Dabur’s ‘lesbian ad’. It should be probed and they are told to withdraw ad or face action. In ‘Ashram’ matter, we will issue a permanent guideline that if there is objectionable scene or story should be given to administration first and shot only if permitted,” he added. On Sunday, Bajrang Dal activists ransacked the set of the third season of the web series ‘Ashram 3’ and threw ink on its director Prakash Jha. The filming was going on at the old jail in Bhopal, where the Bajrang Dal workers stopped the vehicles and pelted stones at them, leaving some crew members injured. (ANI)