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In defence of secularism

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
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In a letter to the Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, urging him to open religious places for worship, the state governor, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, commented on Mr Thackeray’s politics of Hindutva and asked him, mockingly, if he had “turned secular”. In a separate development, an advertisement for the jewellery brand, Tanishq, which portrayed a multi-religious home where Muslim family members adopted rituals to make their Hindu daughter-in-law feel at home at her baby shower ceremony, drew a backlash on social media for ostensibly hurting Hindu sentiments. The ad, which was based on the theme of unity, was withdrawn.

Both events — one related to the functioning of the Indian State and the other related to cultural trends in Indian society — are disturbing. Take the governor’s letter first. Mr Koshyari, as the constitutional head of the state, is perfectly within his rights to correspond with the chief minister, and even make suggestions — including the need to open religious places, though whether this is indeed wise in a state that has had the highest share of Covid-19 cases in India is open to question. But the problem is not the letter or its specific theme; the issue is the contempt with which Mr Koshyari used the term “secularism”, equating it with the closure of religious places. Secularism may be a controversial word for dominant sections of India’s polity, but it is a cherished constitutional value. There have been distortions in the practice of secularism, but this does not take away from the importance of the principle. To demean the word is not just to undermine the Preamble, but also encourage a majoritarian conception of the nation.

But what is equally worrying is the controversy around what was an evocative advertisement, which was about love and warmth between communities. The Hindutva Right, based on its entirely flawed and incorrect idea of “love jihad”, frowns at Hindu-Muslim relationships, especially if the man is a Muslim. The fact that even a moving ad triggered a backlash, and that the company withdrew the ad, speaks of a deep divide that could threaten the very idea of India. Both the State and society must return to the original constitutional vision of pluralism, coexistence
and integration.

 

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member

Why Tanishq withdrew ad showing inter-faith marriage: Chronology of a ‘killed’ campaign​


The Tanishq advertisement showed a Muslim family celebrating a traditional Hindu baby shower ceremony for their pregnant daughter-in-law.
The Tanishq advertisement showed a Muslim family celebrating a traditional Hindu baby shower ceremony for their pregnant daughter-in-law.
You can call it the power of social media or the perils of social media, depending on which side of this fence you are sitting on. But one thing is certain - the manner in which Tanishq was forced to withdraw its advertisement showing an inter-faith marriage - is a telling commentary of the divisive times we live in.
Late on Tuesday evening, the brand issued a statement saying it was “deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions” and that it was withdrawing the video.
For those living under a rock and who have not seen it, the advertisement basically showed a Muslim family celebrating a traditional Hindu baby shower ceremony for their pregnant daughter-in-law.


The campaign was released on October 9 and immediately led to the hashtag #BoycottTanishq. The 45-second film faced massive backlash on social media. Among others was actor Kangana Ranaut accusing Tanishq of not only promoting “love jihad” but also sexism. The trolling included threats to the company’s employees and directors.


By Monday evening, the ad was pulled off Tanishq’s YouTube channel. Tanishq later cited “hurt sentiments and the well-being of their employees, partners and store staff” as the reason for pulling their communication.

But that did not end the outcry. The withdrawal of the ad provoked a different kind of backlash with people calling out Tanishq and its parent company the Tata Group, even Ratan Tata for NOT having a spine to stand up to trollers.

Writer Chetan Bhagat tweeted that he expected a Tata group company to be fairer and braver. “Don’t get bullied,” he advised Tanishq. Actor Swara Bhaskar - among others - called it a sad lack of spine by the Tata Group.


The withdrawal of the otherwise routine ad was disappointing for many. After all, it was not really making any political statement and was just another feel good effort to promote Hindu-Muslim unity.

Advertising often mimics society and in this case the Tanishq ad was clearly an effort to showcase religious unity which has been part and parcel of the Indian way of life for decades. Giving in to cyberbullying and social media noise over a seemingly positive message gives the message that the brand foresaw some actual loss of goodwill amidst customers. Either that or the jewellery brand anticipated the cyber bullying to translate into on-ground trouble for its employees and store staff.

Chetan Bhagat rightly said:





Chetan Bhagat

@chetan_bhagat

As a TATA group company, expected #Tanishq to be fairer and braver. If you have done nothing wrong, if you have shown something beautiful about our country, don't get bullied. Be Indian. Be strong.



 

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Tanishq withdrew its ad on interfaith love after it created a furore, but the company continues to face backlash. A Tanishq showroom in Gandhidham town of Gujarat’s Kutch was reportedly forced to put up an apology note on its door.
It was pasted on the showroom’s door on 12 October, and has since been removed, police told PTI and added that some persons had asked the store owner to put the apology note in Gujarati so that more people could understand it.
“As demanded by some persons, he had put up that apology in Gujarati as Tanishq had issued the same in English at national level. There is no element of threat or attack involved,” Superintendent of Police, Kutch-East, Mayur Patil told PTI.
The advertisement was withdrawn on Tuesday after Tanishq said in a statement that the decision has been taken “keeping in mind the hurt sentiments and well being of our employees, partners and store staff.”
ALSO READ: Apology Poster On Gujarat Tanishq Store After Threats, Brand Manager Doxxed: Reports
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has also rejected a complaint against the advertisement for “promoting communal intermingling”, saying there is no violation of any code.
Several foreign media outlets also took note of the outrage over the ad.
Here’s how they covered it:

The Washington Post

The article noted that Tanishq pulled the ad from all platforms “following a flood of angry calls from Hindu nationalists, including members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to boycott the brand.”
The episode, it said, “marked the latest example of the bitter religious divide sweeping India under the hard-line Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He and his supporters envision India as a Hindu nation, not the secular republic enshrined in the Indian constitution.”
'Growing Religious Polarization Under Modi': How Foreign Media Covered Tanishq Ad

The Diplomat

The Diplomat carried an Associated Press wire which said that the withdrawal of the Tanishq ad drew sharp criticism from many in India who said the company was succumbing to right-wing extremists.
“It also shed light on the country’s growing religious polarization under Modi, whose party and supporters envision the country as a Hindu nation and are accused by critics of normalizing anti-Muslim sentiment.”
'Growing Religious Polarization Under Modi': How Foreign Media Covered Tanishq Ad

The New York Times

Quoting Amit Thorat, an assistant professor at the Center for the Study of Regional Development at Jawaharlal Nehru University, The New York Times said, “Interfaith relationships are very rare in India, and when they do exist, they create additional social pressures.”
The article also said that critics argue policies enacted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi have fanned religious hatred and “Muslim minority has been increasingly demonized in the pandemic”.
'Growing Religious Polarization Under Modi': How Foreign Media Covered Tanishq Ad

South China Morning Post

The article said that the controversy surrounding the ad “comes against a backdrop of rising interfaith tensions under PM Narendra Modi”.
“Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party first came to power in 2014, India has become increasingly Hindu-nationalist. Religious intolerance has grown, with Hindu mobs lynching dozens of Muslims and lower-caste Dalits for consuming or slaughtering cows, which Hindus consider sacred.”
 

tbs

Well-known member
hi

i dont beleive in SECULARISM WORD....no country/political party really follow secularism....this

word if just VOTE BANK....
 

Iyest

Active member
hi

i dont beleive in SECULARISM WORD....no country/political party really follow secularism....this

word if just VOTE BANK....

Of course. The mischievous ad was about a Hindu woman married to a Muslim man. Would they dare make an ad showing a Muslim woman married to a Hindu man? You can imagine how many fatwas would have been issued within an hour. But we have to put up with the preachings of the ignoramus from the west who have a hard time in understanding these things in an Indian context. Though both UK and France have realized that they are in a big soup now and Macron has started clamping down on jihadists in France. The US will always be the last to come to its senses.
 

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Social media can turn even the most well intentioned narrative on its head. Sample this: Tata Group's jewellery brand Tanishq was hammered on Tuesday for an advertisement, which tells the simple story of a Hindu woman, married into a Muslim family, who is surprised to find that an elaborate ‘baby shower’ ceremony has been organised as per Hindu rituals.

The girl asks her mother-in-law about it, saying, "Par yeh rasam toh aapke ghar mein nahi hoti hai na? (But this ceremony is not celebrated at your place, isn't it?)," and is told, "Bitiya ko khush karne ki rasam toh har ghar mein hoti hai na? ''

Rather than congratulating the creative team of Tanishq for a beautifully crafted message of inter-faith confluence, the ad became the centrepiece of a spurious narrative of 'love jihad'. In no time, rabid elements had crept out of the woodwork and began the rant: 'Boycott Tanishq.'

Clearly taken aback by the venom, the jewellery brand decided to yield before the band of trolls and the commercial is no longer available on its official YouTube channel.


But educated and cultured falling for this kind of bullying is shameful.

I can understand the <snipped> reacting the way he did, but TBSji's comment is surprising.
 
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prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member

Amid outrage over Tanishq ad, RW brings up anti-Gadar protests because of sindoor​

Tanishq on Tuesday withdrew its ad showing an interfaith family following a sharp backlash on social media with some accusing the company of promoting 'love jihad' and 'fake secularism'.​

Amid outrage over Tanishq ad, RW brings up anti-Gadar protests because of sindoor





While the removal of the ad led to fresh debate on Twitter, Right-wing users sparked a conversation about the anti-Gadar protests because of sindoor.

Sharing video of the controversial scene from Sunny Deol's 'Gadar: Ek Prem Katha' and wrote, "This scene in film Gadar (2001), where a Sikh man is shown applying sindoor on a Muslim woman's head to save her life during communal violence, sparked riots across India. Mobs went on a rampage, bombed theatres, burnt vehicles, tried to sever off a policeman's arm."

 

Iyest

Active member
Although Macron is clamping down on jihadists, France is paying the price for misguided policies of the past.

Gunman 'shouting Allahu Akbar' BEHEADS a man in northern Paris.

A parent shouting Allahu Akbar and thought to be wearing an explosive vest has been shot dead by French police near Paris after allegedly beheading a school teacher with a knife.

The victim was said to have been a school teacher who had enraged parents by displaying cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to pupils.

A source told Le Parisien: ‘The victim had recently given a lesson to his students on freedom of expression and had shown the caricatures of Muhammad’.

This led to an enraged parent confronting the teacher with a kitchen knife, and then cutting his head off, said the source.




 

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
The thread talks about Hindus, Indians, and People of Indian origin. It is not a plank for Anti-Muslim propaganda.
 

ekaputra

Member
The very title of this thread "In Defence of Secularism" is misleading in the context of the Tanishq Ad.

Secularism rejects any form of religious faith, ritual or custom.

The Tanishq Ad was emphasizing religion and is definitely not secular. If this is described as secular the original connotation of the word "secular" will be lost. Unless, like the character Humpty Dumpty in "Alice in Wonderland" a person will insist that a word will mean what he chooses it to mean and he is therefore right in saying that this ad is in the spirit of "secularism".

"In defence of pseudo Secularism" would be a more appropriate title for this thread!
 
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Iyest

Active member
"In defence of pseudo Secularism" would be a more appropriate title for this thread!

You bring up a very important point. And at the outset I will confess that my generation bears the responsibility for allowing politicians and the media to create concocted meanings to certain words right from the country’s Independence. Looking back it was done deliberately to exploit the people of India, appeal to raw emotions, and divide the citizens on communal and caste lines. We were brainwashed by words like ‘secularism’, ‘minority rights’ etc. it has taken over half a century for people to question the distorted meanings given to these words.

Take for example the distorted meaning given to the word ‘minorities’. The word itself has a simple meaning. But in India it has come to be almost synonymous with Muslims. Factually, in addition to having their own nations of Pakistan and Bangladesh, Muslims are the second largest majority group in India. In many districts of the country they are in the majority. But by giving a distorted meaning to the word, genuine minorities like Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs are often ignored. The Buddhists in Ladakh have been ignored until recently and the demographics of the area have changed to the point where they are in danger of becoming minorities in Ladakh.

It is only in the last decade or two that the younger generation has started questioning the distorted terminology being used in India that you will not find anywhere else. This is to be welcomed. The radical left will no doubt scream that the sky is falling and make wild accusations often with the connivance of certain elements in the domestic as well as western media. But our younger generations are not as meek and are quite capable of telling them to get lost.
 

ekaputra

Member
my generation bears the responsibility for allowing politicians and the media to create concocted meanings to certain words right from the country’s Independence.
Just for the record, I am also a Senior Citizen but actively employed (working at least 5 days a week from home for a private company) after opting for VRS from a reputed PSU. I too, have to own some share of that responsibility.
 
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