Indian retailer Fabindia, which sells home furnishings, furniture, clothes and food, has withdrawn an ad about a new Diwali line after backlash from right-wing Hindu groups, reported BBC.
Social media users accused the ad of using Urdu — a language spoken by many Muslims in India — to celebrate a collection for the Hindu festival of Diwali.
#BoycottFabIndia trended on Twitter in India on Monday after Fabindia called Diwali “Jashn-e-Riwaaz” (celebration of tradition) in a tweet. Following the tweet, many social media users called for a boycott of the company, claiming that the Urdu phrase had been used to hurt sentiments of the Hindu community.
A spokesperson from Fabindia told the Times of India newspaper that Jashn-e-Riwaaz was not its Diwali collection.
The tweet, which went viral on Monday, said: “As we welcome the festival of love and light, Jashn-e-Riwaaz by Fabindia is a collection that beautifully pays homage to Indian culture.” The tweet has since been deleted and the ad has also been withdrawn.
This is not the first time an Indian brand had to withdraw ads following backlash from right-wing Hindu groups. Last year in October, popular Indian jewellery brand Tanishq had to withdraw an advertisement featuring an interfaith couple after a right-wing backlash on social media.
A recent advert by clothing brand Manyaavar featuring Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt in a wedding attire also caused a social media furore. The ad, which appeared to question an old tradition (Kanya Daan), received widespread backlash as it was seen as an attack on Hindu wedding rituals.