BENGALURU: With the BJP MPs taking exception to advertisements and branding by some firms, which, according to them, hurt religious sentiments, the Congress has expressed concerns over such a stand taken by leaders of the ruling dispensation having an impact on investments. The BJP leaders, however, are strongly backing the MPs.
After Tejasvi Surya slammed FabIndia over its ‘Jashn-e-Riwaz’ collection, another MP Anant Kumar Hegde wrote to Ceat MD and CEO Anant Vardhan Goenka taking strong exception to an advertisement featuring actor Amir Khan hurting the sentiments of Hindus.
“Targeting firms for their advertisements will crush the morale of industrialists. If an advertisement is wrongly depicted, or hurts the feelings of a community, there are laws under which action can be taken,” said Congress leader BK Hariprasad.
“They are least bothered about the industries,” he said, taking a dig at the BJP leaders. Chairman of FKCCI, Perikal Sundar, felt companies have to maintain a balance in their advertisements and avoid controversies.
“If an advertisement triggers controversy, it will become a big issue with more people targeting it and affecting its business,” he noted.
The BJP is firmly backing its MPs. “There is a selective approach by companies in targeting one community,” said party spokesperson Ganesh Karnik. “In the name of freedom of expression, hurting the sentiments of a majority community is wrong,” he stressed.
The MPs’ objection to the advertisements in no way adversely affects investment either, as investors look at a conducive environment, felt Vishwanath Bhat, an economist and also party spokesperson.
Author Shefali Vaidya’s tweets created ripples, forcing the American-owned clothing brand FabIndia to change the Urdu name of its collection ‘Jashn-e-Riwaz’ (celebration of tradition) to ‘Jhilmil si Diwali’. She also took strong exception to models not wearing bindis in clothing and jewellery brand advertisements. The hashtag #NoBindiNoBusiness went viral.