After Alia Bhatt’s ‘Kanyamaan’ ad received backlash on social media, ‘Boycott Manyavar’ was trending on Twitter on September 22. The Manyavar ad, where Bhatt can be seen playing a bride questioning the concept of Kanyadaan has divided netizens. Some are outraged on the actress and the brand and have alleged that their religious sentiments were hurt. On the other hand, others are considering the ad as a progressive twist to the concept of Kanyadaan.
September 22, Wednesday, was an interesting day on Twitter as two massive controversies were trending on the microblogging platform. Other than #BoycottManyavar, #DelhiRestaurant was trending after a woman was allegedly denied to enter a Delhi restaurant for wearing saree.
Brands are known to face backlash when they foray into depicting Indian culture and traditions in a different light altogether. In October 2020, popular jewelry brand Tanishq received backlash after it promoted an ad showing an inter-faith marriage. The ad went instantly viral, and had to be taken down by the brand. Further, reports of a Tanishq store being attacked by a mob emerged.
Recently, Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt brewed controversy when she appeared in a Manyavar ad. These are the facts of the matter:
The Facts of the Matter
Alia Bhatt’s recent ad for bridal wear Mohey – a sub-brand of popular ethnic wear brand Manyavar has polarized the netizens. The ad, which questions the concept of ‘Kanyadaan’ (a wedding ritual where a father gives his daughter away), is being looked by some as a progressive take on the ritual, and as a Hindu-phobic ‘woke’ ad by others.
The ad has created such an uproar that on September 23, #BoycottManyavar was trending on Twitter. Thousands of people were sharing their reactions on the ad.
What did the Ad Show?
In the ad, Bhatt can be seen in a wedding mandap with her to-be husband. As she sits in the Mandap, she mentions how everyone in her family loves her. Then, she goes on to object the practice of Kanyadan. In the monologue, she ponders why is being treated as a temporary part of her own family despite the love that they share.
“Am I being given away? Why just kanyadaan”, Alia Bhatt in her monologue ponders. Much to her surprise, she sees that both the parents of her husband-to-be also give away their son. The couple is shown getting happily married.
Watch The Ad Here:
Polarizing Reactions to KanyaMaan Ad
On YouTube, while the ad has received close to 2 lakh views so far. However, what’s interesting is that the ad has been liked by 2.4 thousand people while it has received over 17 thousand dislikes.
On Twitter, the ad has received polarizing reviews. But for the most part, it is being panned by netizens. Most netizens are claiming that the ad is Hindu-Phobic and is misrepresenting traditions. Some people are also sharing the real meaning of Kanyadaan and are claiming that the ad is showing Hindu culture in bad light.
हमेशा हिन्दू धर्म पर ही विज्ञापन क्यों, बाकी धर्म पर क्यों नहीं, हलाला, ट्रिपल तलाक पर क्यों नहीं? सभी हिन्दुओं को एक होकर अपने धर्म की रक्षा के लिए विरोध करे,इस #बॉलीवुड और कपड़े के ब्रांड #mohey का भी, तभी ये लोग सुधरेंगे,ज्यादा से ज्यादा रीट्वीट और कमेंट करे #BoycottBollywood pic.twitter.com/8u3eeQavCK
— ब्र० अभिषेक सरला 🧘♂️ (@abhisheksarla) September 20, 2021
— Monica Singh (@ms_hjs) September 22, 2021
Hypocrisy at it's best !
— Guruprasad Gowda (@Gp_hjs) September 22, 2021
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
This advertisement of #Manyavar is an attack on hindu traditions and an intentional controversy. For how long and how many times we have to tolerate this type of cultural invading?#boycottmanyavar pic.twitter.com/ZFFxlsRtD9
— Divya Rai (@DivyaMishraRai1) September 20, 2021
— अमित शर्मा (@Sharmaroyals) September 18, 2021
As mentioned in the ‘Veda’ and ‘Puran’, the bridegroom is looked upon as Bhagavan Shrivishnu.
— DIPTI CHINCHALKAR (@DIPTICHINCHALK1) September 22, 2021
Positive Reactions to KanyaMaan Ad
— Sagarika Chakraborty (@me_sagarika) September 20, 2021
Btw, look at this #Mohey outrage. Stupidity at so many levels.
1. A progressive message done beautifully being attacked.
2. Even more stupid, attacking the actress rather than the brand/ad creators!https://t.co/Y4jA6ThsRH
— zyx (@zyx21985125) September 19, 2021
Kangana Ranaut Joins the Debate, Lashes out on Alia Bhatt Ad
Incidentally, Kangana Ranaut, who has earlier spoken on preserving Hindu culture and its rich heritage also slammed the KanyaMaan ad. The actress gave a lengthy explanation regarding the meaning of ‘dhan’ and its multiple usages according to context.
“Humble request to all brands ….. don’t use religion, minority, majority politics to sell things …. Stop manipulating naive consumer with shrewd divisive concepts and advertising…”, she wrote in the caption and tagged Alia Bhatt and Mohey fashion.