‘Dictating what is Indian’: backlash over Urdu phrase in fashion advert
Released just as festival season is kicking off across India, it looked like your average advert for festive attire. Models posed, resplendent in red and gold, showing off the newest collection by Fabindia that was said to “pay homage to Indian culture”.
Yet, in just a matter of hours, the poster had sent convulsions through India. A boycott was called against Fabindia, a staple brand in the country, and by the end of the day the advert had been taken down after it was deemed offensive to Hinduism by members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) and right-wing Hindu groups….
Tejasvi Surya, a BJP MP, tweeted: “Deepavali is not Jashn-e-Riwaaz. This deliberate attempt of abrahamisation of Hindu festivals, depicting models without traditional Hindu attires, must be called out”. His call for an economic boycott of Fabindia quickly gained traction online. The objections and trolling escalated further over outrage that the women in the Fabindia advert were not wearing a bindi, the coloured decorative dot often worn by Hindu women on their foreheads, and a subsequent hashtag #NoBindiNoBusiness began to trend on Twitter….