Indian consumer goods giant Dabur has withdrawn an advertisement showing a same-sex couple celebrating Karva Chauth.
This advt was for Dabur’s Fem Creme bleach and was criticised by a section of social media users.
The advt shows two young Indian women preparing for their first Karva Chauth festival, while one is applying bleach on the other’s face. Both are discussing the significance of the Indian festival. Soon, the audience sees the women facing each other dressed in sarees with a sieve and a decorated plate with water in front of them. This is the moment that shows the people that the two women are actually partners.
The last shot is of Fem’s logo on the screen and the voiceover says, “glow with pride.”
This advt went viral on social media platforms with users giving an array of reactions and comments to a same-sex couple celebrating Karvachauth.
Some social media users appreciated the advertisement for its inclusivity and progressive depiction of Hindu marriage.
Social commentators felt it was a good way to bring some understanding about same-sex couples. However, the LGBTIQ community slammed Dabur for using queer representatives to promote a ‘regressive’ ritual and racist product.
Twitterati called it an endorsement of “colourism” and a “patriarchal tradition” which demeans the LGBTIQ pride.
Another person who identified with the LGBTIQ community said, “I do not want such kinds of queer representatives.”
While many others said that the once again a commercial has targeted Hindu festival.
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra in a press conference objected to Dabur’s advt and said he has directed the DGP to ask the company to withdraw the advertisement.
Issuing an “unconditional” apology, Dabur India said:
“Fem’s Karwachauth campaign has been withdrawn from all social media handles and we unconditionally apologise for unintentionally hurting people’s sentiments.”
In a separate statement, Dabur said:
“Our intention is not to offend any beliefs, customs and traditions, religious or otherwise. If we have hurt he sentiments of any individual or group, it was unintentional, and we apologise.”
This is the third Indian advt this year that has seen social media backlash.
Earlier, FabIndia was criticised for a collection named ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’ and CEAT Tyres was criticised for advising people not to burst crackers on Diwali.