Hatred spills for ad promoting Hindu-Muslim harmony
Srinagar, Mar 10: For any detergent brand, Holi is an obvious opportunity to advertise its cleaning powers. But Hindustan Unilever’s new advertisement for Surf Excel has evoked an extreme reaction from some right-wing quarters, who have succeeded in trending the hashtag #BoycottSurfExcel on Twitter. The advertisement offers a warm – and timely – message on inclusivity, building a story about a young girl who helps her neighbour complete his Namaz he can join in the colourful festivities. The advertisement ends with its classic tagline: “Daag acche hain. Agar kuch achha karne mein daag lag jaaye toh daag achhe hain. (Stains that come as a part of a good deed are good stains).” With the advertisement, Hindustan Unilever, owner of Surf Excel, tries promoting religious harmony and bringing people together with the power of colours. Released on February 27, the video has already managed to gather around 7,737,800 views on YouTube. However, the response from many has been a tweet campaign asking that the detergent being advertised be boycotted. The reasons are not difficult to find, going by the contents of the hate tweets. They claim that the ad promotes “love jihad”, the conspiracy theory floated by Hindutva supporters which claims that there is a campaign by Muslim men to court Hindu women merely so that they can then convert them to Islam. Many social media users who feel that the ad is Hindu phobic’ and wants to showcase that Namaaz is more important than Holi.