Bengaluru: The young and single of Bengaluru woke up to a rather unusual advertisement on Wednesday. A leading newspaper carried a front page advertisement reading 'Young Achievers Matrimony' which called for registrations to a matrimony meet to be held on August 12.
The ad called for entries by 'young achievers' who by the description on the ad should be successful entrepreneurs, eminent professionals from IAS, IPS, IRS or scientist, youngsters graduated from top universities like IIM, IIT etc. But what took all by surprise was the description of 'Beautiful Girls' as an achievement.
The ad soon went viral on social media with many sharing the image and calling it out for being regressive on many counts.
There's no way one thing can be sexist, casteist, elitist, and offensive to literally everyone all at the same time.Young Achievers Matrimony: Hold my beer. pic.twitter.com/AMqJgXxtmK— Andre Borges (@borges) July 25, 2018
Young achievers matrimony meet.Achievements include successful entrepreneurship, entry into elite universities... or for women, just being beautiful.(Pic stolen from @KabirTaneja who is a young achiever himself). pic.twitter.com/h5aURz6cJB— Siddharth Singh (@siddharth3) July 25, 2018
5-star matrimony meet: Registration for HNIs Rs 25,000; for young achievers (entrepreneurs, scholars, IIT/IIM pros) Rs 10,000; for indirect participants Rs 5,000. Max 2 people can accompany bride/groom 😎😎 pic.twitter.com/UxuD6IUC3q— Raj Nambisan (@RajNambisan) July 25, 2018
Next morning, the newspaper published a 'note to reader' from its editors which read: "The language used in the advertisement was in poor taste. We are strengthening our internal advertisement copy vetting processes to ensure such incidents do not recur. We appreciate the candid feedback from our readers".
Organisers of the event said they ‘regret’ using the term 'beautiful girls' in the ad.
"I have withdrawn the 'beautiful girls' word. My intention was different but people have viewed it differently. I wanted more girls to come to the event, to encourage them to come forward. I did not mean to give a description of physical appearances,” said Sreeram, one of the organisers.
When asked if the event was restricted to only 'ultra-rich families' as mentioned in the ad, Sreeram explained that he had organised a similar event earlier this month, which only entertained doctors. The warm response to the event gave him the idea to hold another edition which would cater to all 'young achievers'
"In the last event almost 180 girls had registered. If it was meant to ill-treat women, so many wouldn't have come forward," said Sreeram defending the ad. He said it was a good concept and the event could be looked at like a 'family gathering'.
The event hasn’t been cancelled yet, despite the backlash and criticism.
The minimum registration fee for ‘young achievers’ is Rs 10,000 and is as high as Rs 25,000 in some cases. The organisers said that the high rates are due to the venue of the event and the 'complimentary welcome drink, veg lunch and high tea' that would be provided.