Finally, after 74 years of political independence, Hindus of India are asserting their God-given rights and culture. Even, earlier scot-free multinational brands in India are forced to accept this fact. In the latest incident, Nestle seems to have been jolted with Bhagwan Jagannath’s curse.
Nestle under controversy; again
Nestle, the parent company of controversial Maggie noodle recently came under scrutiny by aware Hindus of India. In 2021, Nestle launched a segment of products called the “KitKat travel breaks” range. This segment is specially designed for local artisans. On Nestle’s wrappers, photos of artwork by local artisans are printed.
In Odisha, the company’s adventure did not go down well with the people of the state. The company had added images of Bhagwan Jagannath, Balabhadra and Mata Subhadra on the wrapper of chocolates. Recently, some people pointed towards the absurdity of using photos of Bhagwans’ on the wrapper.
People not happy with the insult of Bhagwans
People were generally appreciative of the initiative launched by a multinational brand, however, they criticised the company for not thinking through the process.
A Twitter user, Biswadeep Pradhan asked the company to remove the photo as wrappers are thrown on roads, dustbins and other dirty places.
Mahaprasad Mishra, another user expressed his realistic fear of the wrapper coming under someone’s feet. This would amount to the insult of Bhagwans.
Various other users expressed similar sentiments on the issue.
Nestle rushed in to apologise as it can’t afford to lose India
Nestle, who has a blotted past of controversies in India tried to course-correct on an urgent basis. Nestle went to the individual account of every Twitter user (complaining about the wrapper) and apologised. Moreover, they also said that the alleged wrapper had already been withdrawn.
In a statement to PTI, Nestle spokesperson said, “We do understand the sensitivity of the matter and regret if we have inadvertently hurt anyone’s sentiment. We had already withdrawn these packs from the market last year. We thank you for your understanding and support.”
Apparently, Company also issued a clarification on the issue. In an apologising statement, the company said, “Hi, Kitkat travel break packs are meant to celebrate beautiful local destinations and last year we wanted to celebrate the culture of Odisha with designs on packs representing ‘Pattachitra’, an art form uniquely identifiable by its vivid imagery. We wanted to encourage people to know about the art and its artisans. We do understand the sensitivity of the matter and regret if we have inadvertently hurt people’s sentiments.”
Nestle is just another company that is facing backlash for their half-cooked stands
This is not the first time; Nestle had gone wrong in its effort to acclimatise its brand with India. Last year, the Swiss multinational giant had wrongly depicted Lamjao National Park in Manipur. In their packaging, they had depicted it as located in Meghalaya. Moreover, Nestle had also wrongly shown Red Panda to be existing in the national park The company had apologised for its mistakes.
Recently, a lot of brands have been under fire for insulting Hindus’ Devi-Devtas and rituals. Moreover, a lot of celebrities including India’s hot favourite Captain Kohli have been taken to cleaners by people of India for their activism on Hinduism. Various ads have been withdrawn in the wake of Hindus’ spirited defence of their way of life.
Nestle withdrawal comes off as a welcome sign for Hindus. For a major part of Independent Indian history, Hindus were forced to state silently in the name of accommodating others. Now, they have realized that ‘Enough is enough’. Nestle felt it and decided to maintain its status quo in India.