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Sunday, June 11, 2023

Dabur’s Fem bleach ad shows lesbian couple on Karva Chauth; withdrawn after threat of legal action

The ad industry continues to distort Hindu festivals to sell their client’s products, and provoke the silent majority Hindus. Now, Dabur has joined the long list of companies trying to sell their products to Hindus while trying to shove some progressive woke idea down the throats of those very same Hindus.

The advertisement rolled out for Dabur’s product, the Fem Creme Gold Bleach, shows a same-sex lesbian couple ‘celebrating’ Karwa Chauth, a Hindu festival where Hindu wives, who so wish, keep a fast for their husband’s long life.

In the ad, two young women are shown getting ready for Karwa Chauth. While one woman is applying the bleach on the other’s face, they discuss the significance of the festival and the reason behind it. Another woman joins the two and gives each one a saree to wear at night.

Cut to the end, the ad shows both women facing each other with the traditional sieve and a decorated thali with water in front of them, thus signifying that they are each other’s ‘partners’. Note – Hindu Dharma only recognizes marriage as a bond between a man and woman, so this is a mockery of one of the most sacred relationships in Hindu society.

As outraged Hindus protested the ad for messing with a festival that celebrates the tradition of marriage, Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra criticised it and said that legal steps would be taken if the advertisement was not withdrawn. The plain-speaking worked. Dabur India Limited on Monday tendered an apology and withdrew the advertisement.

“Fem’s Karwachauth campaign has been withdrawn from all social media handles and we unconditionally apologise for unintentionally hurting people’s sentiments,” Dabur India said in a statement released on its official Twitter handle in the afternoon.

Fem is one of the five Master Brands of Dabur India Ltd with a range of products for the Skin Care and Salon category. It claims to be the oldest and most trusted brand in the bleaches category. In 2015, Dabur appointed the US-origin MNC media agency Starcom MediaVest Group as its sole agency to handle all media planning and buying. Dabur’s Marketing Director had said: “Dabur has adopted a fresh approach to its media strategy with a focus on the younger generation and emphasis on use of digital media as a way to create the right impact….Starcom MediaVest Group will henceforth exclusively handle all of Dabur’s multichannel media activities.”

But going by this latest ad, there seems to be a space rapidly opening up for a more traditionally-rooted company to enter the beauty products space.

With that said, it must be added that the idea of fair-skin being somehow more desirable is a product of colonized mindsets. Such attitudes have become widespread due to Central Asian Muslim invaders’ (the so-called Ashraf class) association of fairness with superiority over dark-skinned Hindus, and the racism practiced by English colonizers. After all, the most revered of Hindu deities like Sri Krishna, Maa Kali, Bhagwan Shiva are often depicted as dark-skinned.

De-Hinduization of mass media, selective targeting by ad makers

The difference between product marketing by traditional family businesses and the more Westernized, Anglicized business families is becoming quite stark these days:

One can go through the #NoBindiNoBusiness hashtag on twitter to see more such examples.

When it comes time for Eid, this same chutzpah of ad-makers vanishes into thin air – no one tries to sell their products while wishing a bloodless Eid, or showing women rising against Nikah Halala, or showing people vacating roads and public spots to offer Friday namaz in mosques and homes.

Therein lies a message for believing and practicing Hindus. Unless we deliver an unequivocal and direct message to the HINOs (Hindu In Name Only) who dominate the ad industry, we will be taken for granted, mocked and derided.

From the ad agency to the company executives who approve such Hinduphobic ads, they all must answer this question: “The brand manager who oversaw the ad, the agency that created the ad, the GM/VP who greenlighted it. Simple question: would you have run a similar ad for another religious festival? If the answer is “no”, “depends”, “it’s an irrelevant question”, then you have your answer. #sjw”

Of course, the hypocrites who populate Bharat’s mainstream media are calling these protests by Hindus to protect their Dharma and culture as ‘season of outrage’, but report with all seriousness when ‘minorities’ in Bharat launch boycott campaigns for global ummah goals.

Hindus are the most tolerant community when it comes to homosexuals and transgenders. The communities which prescribe death penalty for homosexuals are the ones in desperate need of sermons from our woke, creative types. That is where our ‘braveheart’ seculars should direct their energy towards. But will they, or will the self-preservation instinct kick in?

Hindus don’t need sermons from progressives and wokes

Despite recent attitudes of taboo and the Victorian era criminalization of homosexuality that was overturned recently, Hindu Society is demonstrably far more understanding in its approach and several Hindu texts explicitly describe transgenders and those with a homosexual nature. Hindu society recognizes two genders—male (purusha) and female (stri)—but also acknowledges a third, less common gender (tritiya-prakriti) considered to be a natural combination of the male and female natures.

With this basic understanding in mind, our ancient society did not punish or attempt to correct transgenders, but rather accepted their nature as it was and incorporated them into society accordingly.

But acceptance does not imply mainstreaming. It does not mean public celebration of divergent sexuality, or any kind of sexuality for that matter. It does not mean a free pass to hold sessions on LGBTQ sexuality for school children. Yes, kama (desire) is part of the four purusharthas (goals) of human life, but it has to be balanced with artha, dharma and moksha.

Hindu Dharmic texts and our civilization have clearly held that marriage is a sacred bond between a male and a female. The institution of family is built around a mother and a father. Same-sex marriages do not have the sanction of Dharma. There must be no confusion on that point.

As we argued in an article titledThe Slippery Slope of Individualism‘ to sound a warning bell when decriminalization of Article 377 was being debated in courts:

Individualistic pursuit of pleasure is never-ending. What is at stake is the institution of family, which is at the heart of the Bharatiya way of life. The West, with an already disintegrating institution of family, has not much to lose compared to us. Engrossed in pursuit of ‘absolute individual freedom’, the West is only waking up to the consequences of lack of moral values and now they are fighting back.

We are already witnessing demands in the West for decriminalization of pedophilia and incest.

The denigration of values is being marketed as progressiveness, and Hindu marriage rituals are being targeted every other day. The hoax that the kanyadaan ritual done by the bride’s father means that Hindu women are ‘treated as property’, has gained wide currency and is being repeated by some fraud new-age priests too.

Hindus need to be beware of the “progressive” agenda. As a society, we have progressed at our own pace and evolved with times. We have integrated various practices while retaining the core of our Dharma.

Practitioners who have done serious study of Dharma, and who understand the true meaning and context of rituals and traditions, are welcome to suggest reforms and discuss them in a civil manner with the larger community. But people with dubious agendas, or those who view our religion & culture through foreign intellectual frameworks and with superficial understanding, have no business telling us what to do.

Rather than blindly aping Western fads and socio-cultural theories, we would do well to listen to our own Dharmic thinkers, and to the likes of other international leaders like Putin, who has correctly identified the threat posed by far-left woke ideology. As he articulates, this ideology is asking society to renounce the traditional interpretation of basic values as mother, father, family, and the natural distinction between sexes, as well as challenging the very notion of morality and the basic principles for a healthy society. All of this is being done in the guise of innocuous goals like female emancipation, social justice etc.

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