Bollywood’s Hindu phobia is not a new phenomenon. But in recent years woke brigade has taken it to another level. After targeting festivals like Holi, Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga-Puja, they have now come after sacred Hindu customs and rituals.
Manyavar targets Hindu
Recently, Manyavar, an ethnic wear brand has decided to target Hindu marriage rituals in their new ad featuring Alia Bhatt, the daughter of Mahesh Bhatt. The ad specifically targeted the ‘Kanyadaan’ ritual followed in Hindu marriages. The advertisement is seen portraying ‘Kanyadaan’ as regressive practice and as an alternative; the ad suggests that Hindus should start a ‘Kanyamaan’. The word ‘maan’ translate to respect in English. Apparently, Manyavar claimed that “Kanyamaan” is a progressive way of thinking as it highlights the idea of respecting brides instead of handling their responsibility to the groom’s family.
Needless to say, the ad drew sharp criticism from the 21st century awakened Hindus, who are well aware of the tradition and its significance. The users also castigated brands for only targeting Hindu festivals while leaving out oppressive customs of other rituals untouched.
A female user Aanchal Shukla made a Twitter thread, where she wrote- “Kanyadaan is considered to be the “Mahadaan” or a grand contribution of a father. Who gives his daughter willingly to the man who will further take care of her, freeing the father from his duties. This doesn’t mean that the daughter can no more stay connected to her parents”, further, she elaborated the Putradhan ritual in Hindus as – “Coming to “Putradaan”. When a son leaves his parents to serve his duties towards humankind, that is how parents donate their son for the protection/upliftment of Dharma and society which is considered as Putradaan. So it’s #kanyadaan ) and not #kanyamaan understand the basics”.
@Manyavar_ what is this advertisement? To your surprise, No, Kanyadaan doesn't mean that a girl is a commodity and can be given away. Hindu rituals are so easy for you people to point fingers at. If you want to know about the piousness of Kanyadaan, this thread is for you. pic.twitter.com/Lv2tp0TNTh
— Aanchal Shukla (@_0utloud) September 18, 2021
Another user going by the name Gems of Bollywood reprimanded the Bollywood industry for not targeting the regressive practice of other religions. The Twitter handle wrote- “Woke feminism by drugwood to reform Hinduism. But total silence on the cult of Halala, TTT, Polygamy, Iddat, Child marriage that views women as property”.
Woke feminism by drugwood to reform Hinduism. But total silence on cult of Halala, TTT, Polygamy, Iddat, Child marriage that views women as property@aliaa08 is probably inspired by her women-empowerment champ daddy to give gyan on Kanya ka Maanpic.twitter.com/HwDUuvHlmN
— Gems of Bollywood (@GemsOfBollywood) September 18, 2021
Anchal Jaisawal wrote- “#Kanyadaan is highly misunderstood. In a Hindu wedding, the groom is considered Vishnu and the girl as Lakshmi. The father asks the Vishnu to accept his Lakshmi as his better half along with the promise to respect, love and protect her dignity”.
#Kanyadaan is highly misunderstood. In Hindu wedding, the groom is considered Vishnu and the girl as Lakshmi. The father asks the Vishnu to accept his Lakshmi as his better half along with the promise to respect, love and protect her dignity
— ANCHAL JAISWAL (@JaiswalAnchal) September 18, 2021
A Supreme court lawyer, Shashank Shekhar Jha wrote – “#Kanyadaan means Gotra Daan. Once a girl marry through Hindu rituals, she accepts the gotra of her Husband & her child will get the name of the father. If someone has a problem, they can register marriage through the Special Marriage Act. But to attáck Hindu rituals unnecessarily is malafide”.
#Kanyadaan means Gotra Daan.
Once a girl marry through Hindu rituals, she accepts gotra of Husband & her child will get name of the father.
If someone has a problem, they can register marriage through Special Marriage Act.
But to attáck Hindu rituals unnecessarily is malafide !
— शशांक शेखर झा (@shashank_ssj) September 19, 2021
A prominent female intellectual Shefali Vaidya also highlighted the complicated family of Alia Bhatt.
— Shefali Vaidya. 🇮🇳 (@ShefVaidya) September 19, 2021
Hinduism – the only target for the woke brigade
In recent years, wokeism has engulfed the entire advertisement industry. They have been heavily criticised for various woke agendas like painting Hindu festivals as not being environment friendly; Hindu cultures and rituals as misogynistic; Brahmins as villains and presenting men as toxic. Recently they made an advertisement including Neena Gupta, Alaya Furniturewalla and Sayani Gupta that advised on celebrating crackerless Diwali. On one hand, celebrities have been promoting crackerless Diwali, and on the other, they burst crackers worth millions at their weddings and New Year celebrations. What is even more dumbfounding is that these ad campaigns are always hesitant about exposing regressive Islamic rituals, and instead end up glorifying them.
It is a little bizarre that despite having Hindus as their consumer base, Manyavar still ridiculed and demeaned Hindu rituals and culture. As Manyavar is about to launch its IPO in the market, it seems like the ad was another strategy to gain some popularity for their Initial public offerings. With this ad, they have shown that they only believe in using our traditions and rituals as marketing gimmicks.