At the centre of controversy for appearing in the recent Manyavar ad that mocked the Hindu custom of ‘Kanyadaan’, Alia Bhatt’s troubles have compounded as a complaint has been filed against her at Santacruz Police Station in Mumbai, according to a report by News 18. Reportedly, the complainant has alleged that Alia Bhatt has hurt the feelings of Hindus through the ad and misrepresented what Kanyadaan stands for.
What is the controversy?
As reported by TFI, Manyavar, an ethnic wear brand endorsed by the likes of Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma in the past, decided to target Hindu marriage rituals in their new advertisement by using the activism trope. 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’ translates to respect in English.
Manyavar claimed that “Kanyamaan” was 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 advertisement 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 (Read: Nikaah, Triple Talaaq, Halala)
Public backlash for Manyawar and Alia Bhatt
Safe to say, the public wasn’t bemused by the ad and took to the social media platforms to show its disgust for the ad.
One of the netizens questioned the sheer duplicity of the brand by asking, “Kanyadaan is “Patriarchal” but Giving the bride, Nikah-Mehr are all “Woke” !! Right @Manyavar?”
— Yo Yo Funny Singh 🇮🇳 (@moronhumor) September 18, 2021
Another user going by the name Gems of Bollywood reprimanded the Bollywood industry for not targeting the regressive practise 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
Actress Kangana Ranaut also took Alia and Manyavar to the cleaners by posting a message on Instagram, “Don’t become a pest who loves to abuse and condemn Hinduism just because it is the most tolerant religion @moheyfashion”
Over the years, it has become a routine trope in the advertising industry to target Hindu rituals and engage in social media activism to gain a few measly woke points. Wokeism has engulfed the entire advertisement industry.
They have been heavily criticized for their woke agendas like painting Hindu festivals as not being environmentally friendly; Hindu cultures and rituals as misogynistic; Brahmins as villains and presenting Hindu men as toxic. Meanwhile, the minority community is always shown as the benevolent and generous side.
However, it is plain stupid from the top functionaries of Manyavar to give assent to such an ad that targets the biggest demography of its customers. They have simply shot themselves in the foot with the hara-kiri move.