After facing flak over their latest advertisement featuring Hrithik Roshan, food delivery platform Zomato issued an apology for hurting people’s sentiments.
“We offer our sincerest apologies, for the intent here was never to hurt anyone’s beliefs and sentiments,” the company said in a Twitter post.
Zomato’s statement comes after priests and devotees of Ujjain’s Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple demanded immediate withdrawal of the particular advertisement in which Hrithik was seen ordering food from ‘Mahakal’ when he felt like having a ‘thali’.
“Mahakal temple does not deliver any thali. Zomato and Hrithik Roshan must apologize for this ad,” said priest Mahesh Sharma.
“The company has made misleading publicity about the Mahakal temple in its advertisement. The company should think before issuing such advertisements,” Sharma said, adding that the ad hurt religious sentiments.
Prasad is served to the devotees on a plate, but there is no provision for delivery if anyone asks for it, the priest added.
Priest Mahesh Sharma said their prasad is distributed among devotees on a plate (thali) free of cost and is not something that can be ordered online through a food delivery app.
The Mahakal temple of Lord Shiva in Ujjain is one of twelve Jyotirlingas.
In its statement, the company said that the ad “referenced ‘thalis’ at ‘Mahakal Restaurant’, and not the revered Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple.”
“The video is part of a pan-India campaign for which we identified top local restaurants and their top dishes based on popularity in each city. Mahakal restaurant was one of the restaurants chosen for the campaign in Ujjain. We deeply respect the sentiments of the people of Ujjain and the ad in question is no longer running. We offer our sincerest apologies for the intent here was never to hurt anyone’s beliefs and sentiments,” the statement concluded.