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Tanishq's Ad Showing Hindu-Muslim Couple Didn't End in 'Boycott'. It Threatened Employees' Lives

Image Credits: Tanishq/YouTube/Twitter.

Image Credits: Tanishq/YouTube/Twitter.

Tanishq's Brand Manager was hunted down on Linkedin, dragged on Twitter, and bombarded with death threats.

An advertisement showing an inter-faith marriage by jewelry brand Tanishq has become the talking point of desi Internet. There's nothing golden about it, though.

In case you missed it, here's a recap. On Monday, an advertisement of Tanishq went viral. In the jewelry brand's advertisement, a Hindu woman who is married into a Muslim family is set for her baby shower. Her in-laws are shown to have gone to great lengths to make their daughter-in-law feel comfortable-- by performing Hindu rituals.

What on the surface seems like an ad about unity between families, the cancel culture brigade turned it into something else: "Love jihad."

Love Jihad or Romeo Jihad is a conspiracy theory that alleges that Muslim men target women belonging to non-Muslim communities in order to convert them to Islam by feigning love and marrying them.

The commercial is a part of Tanishq’s current festive season's collection 'Ekatvam'.

People started trending #BoycottTanishq after the outrage.

Also Read: Outraged Indians on Twitter Want to #BoycottTanishq After it Shows Hindu-Muslim Couple in New Ad

Tanishq, eventually pulled the ad down on Tuesday, amidst much speculation and lots of people protesting the pulling down of the ad itself as a regressive move, and giving in to trolls.

Also Read: 'What's Happening to Us?' Tanishq Withdraws Ad on Hindu-Muslim Couple After Outrage on Twitter

Also Read: Twitter is Upset with Ratan Tata's Silence after Tanishq Pulled Hindu-Muslim Couple Ad

But it didn't end there. While many wondered why the ad that celebrated love  was seen to be problematic, the response they were met with was, 'If roles were reversed (a Muslim bride married into a Hindu family), it would result in 'Charlie Hebdo.'

Also Read: Protestors of Tanishq Ad are Using Charlie Hebdo to Defend Outrage for Hindu-Muslim Couple Story

Late on Tuesday night, for the first time since the controversy and pulling of the ad, Tanishq put out a public statement on why it decided to withdraw the advertisement.

In the statement, they explained "the idea behind the Ektavam campaign is to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life, local communities and families during this challenging time and celebrate the beauty of oneness. This film has stimulated divergent and severe reactions, contrary to its very objective. We are deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions and withdraw this film keeping in mind the hurt sentiments, and the well being of our employees, partners and store staff."

Tanishq's explanation started a new wave of hate.

But Tanishq mentioning the safety of their staff was poignant - because the online trolling wasn't limited to just online trolling.

A report in Ready to Melt highlighted how people reached out to the author of the opinion piece in confidence, to report that, "An employee of Tanishq – and his family – was trolled mercilessly and threatened with his life."

There are also reports that reveal Tanishq's Brand Manager was hunted down on Linkedin and bombarded with death threats. He was forced to delete his account following the threats.

When cancel culture or 'boycott' of a brand starts having real-life consequences on individuals who are associated with the brand, and not the brand as an entity in itself, it stops being just 'cancel culture'. It starts becoming a hate movement-- where one individual gets targetted and in turn made the scapegoat as the world of online trolls turn into vigilantes. The Tanishq's boycott appears to have already delved into that.