Popular jewellery brand Tanishq has withdrawn an advertisement featuring an Hindu-Muslim couple after a right-wing backlash on social media.
The advertisement shows a baby shower organised for the Hindu bride by her Muslim in-laws.
Critics accused the advert of promoting “Love Jihad”, a term coined by radical Hindu groups to accuse Muslim men of participating in a “conspiracy to convert Hindu women by marrying them”.
A section of conservative social media users led calls to boycott the brand, taking it to the top of twitter trends. Many joined in to condemn the abusive posts and comments which bolstered the boycott trend.
The description for the advertisement posted to YouTube read: “She is married into a family that loves her like their own child. Only for her, they go out of their way to celebrate an occasion that they usually don’t. A beautiful confluence of two different religions, traditions and cultures.”
The 43-second ad film – promoting a jewellery line called “Ekatvam” (Hindi word for unity) – has been taken down from Tanishq’s social media channels.
Congress party leader Shashi Tharoor, who posted the advert to his twitter account, said that “Hindutva bigots have called for a boycott for highlighting Hindu-Muslim unity through this beautiful ad”.
“If Hindu-Muslim ‘ekatvam’ irks them so much, why don’t they boycott the longest surviving symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity – India?” Mr Tharoor wrote.