News Desk |
International Detergent brand operating under Unilever Surf Excel is facing a serious backlash in India for a heart-warming advertisement promoting Hindu-Muslim harmony as part of its latest Holi special #RangLaayeSang campaign.
The one-minute-long ad features a young Hindu girl, dressed in a white T-shirt, who chooses to get stained in Holi colours in order to transport her young Muslim friend to a nearby mosque for prayers. The script and the actors woven together in a harmonious premise make up for a visual treat.
The Pakistan Air Force, in retaliatory action, downed two Indian aircraft the next day, capturing Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan who was later released as a peace gesture by Pakistan.
The commercial ends with its classic tagline: “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). Released on February 27, the video has already had more than 8 million hits on YouTube.
The commercial could not have been released at a more appropriate time. As the Indian government and media continue to fuel war-hysteria in the society, the ad comes as a welcome notion bringing with it a message of love, unity, and humanity.
Read more: Is India moving towards a civil war?
Unfortunately, it didn’t resonate too well with the right-wing extremist circles in India who resorted to the hashtag #BoycottSurfExcel to protest the ad and its message of Hindu-Muslim harmony.
#BoycottSurfExcel Either you roll back this ad immediately @HUL_News or you'll certainly be out of my house. Remember, it is not the India of 80s or 90s when you had monopoly in the market. We can easily and swiftly kick you out.
— चौकीदार Pankaj Kumar 🇮🇳 (@KPankaj2018) March 11, 2019
— pranav laheru (@laheru_pranav) March 10, 2019
Hate attacks against Muslims in India have been on the rise under the BJP rule and were further fuelled after the worsening of relations between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the February 14 Pulwama attack.
India piled the blame for the suspicious Pulwama attack on Pakistan without presenting any proof. The allegations were strongly refuted by Pakistan and have come under international suspicion.
In response, India said it carried out on February 26 air strikes on what it called a militant training camp at Balakot inside Pakistan. The Pakistan Air Force, in retaliatory action, downed two Indian aircraft the next day, capturing Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan who was later released as a peace gesture by Pakistan.