They first came for an advertisement for Tanishq – and the mighty Tata Empire did not resist a community campaign against the image of an interfaith home. A year later, the crowd formed their outrage over Fabindia, for the publicity of a festive collection she called Jashn-e-Riwaaz. The public display of sectarianism was endorsed by Bengaluru BJP MP Tejasvi Surya, who accused the clothing brand of “Abrahamizing” the Hindu festival of Diwali, and warned him of the “economic costs. “. Other self-proclaimed advocates of Hinduism have embarked on this ridiculous battle by closely reading the foreheads of the mannequins in the ad – and dismissing them for not wearing bindis. Instead of ignoring this absurd campaign, Fabindia withdrew the ad.
That Hinduism and Hindus must be defended against a phrase in Urdu – a language born in the heart of northern India, one of the 22 languages listed in the Constitution, spoken and written by freedom fighters and poets, lovers and lyricists, a thread interwoven in the DNA of this diverse country – is a laughable proposition. But he brings the threat together in the hands of an indignant crowd who tweet first, think later. It becomes dangerous when hatred and bigotry are so easily amplified by social media – and when the right to take offense is allowed by politicians who, it seems, only wish to speak the language of polarization and the division. And so, a crowd of trolls, determined to burn down the shared ritual and common ground of diversity, transform into a self-defense force.
Of course, such intolerance feeds on the complicity of politicians like Surya and the discouraging lack of confidence in the state to defend the citizen or the businessman. But he is also emboldened by the silence of the biggest names in India Inc, who have enormous means to defend themselves. Their reluctance will not earn them a reprieve – it will not protect the bottom line or prevent a campaign of slander, like the recent tarring of Infosys as “anti-national” or the labeling of Fabindia as an example of ” Make in ”native. India “like any business, as the“ anti-Hindus ”reveal. It is time for Indian businesses as a whole, not just individual businesses, to take a close look at the results of such a surrender. that the crowd will not stop at a single advertisement. By removing “Jashn-e-Riwaaz” – Urdu for a “festival of tradition” – or by removing an advertising campaign in the hope of silencing the crowd, this narrows the space for both freedom and enterprise, and sets the stage for another salvo from the tyrants of the new India.