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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Cultural invasion: Footwear brand Crocs features Hijab-clad woman in ad ahead of Diwali

Making an absolute mockery of Hindu traditions and culture right before Diwali, US-based footwear brand Crocs featured a woman in Hijab as their model for their recent ad. The ad was published on Crocs India’s You Tube channel on October 29, and also carries the logo of women’s fashion and lifestyle magazine Cosmopolitan (aka Cosmo).

The latest attack on the Hindus is targeting their festivals in an attempt to erase Hindu culture by delinking the festivals from everything Hindu and substituting it with what these companies assume is ‘cool and modern’.

Clothing labels, lifestyle brands and jewelry chains putting out new commercials customised for the Hindu festivities during this time of the year has been a regular feature. They market their products to the Hindus in the and this year was no exception – except, this year, every major brand trying to sell their products during the Hindu festive season devoid of the Hindu essence from their ads.

The trend started with Manyavar’s bridal wear ad featuring Alia Bhatt in which the ad-makers, through a monologue recited by the Bollywood actress, derided the Hindu custom of Kanyadaan. The brand and its tone-deaf ad were chided by netizens abundantly and did little to convince any Hindu to step into one of their showrooms.

Fabindia had also attempted to rename Diwali or Deepawali to Jashn-e-Riwaaz and was slammed for their misadventure. They had to retract the advertisement and reintroduce the line as Jhilmil si Diwali.

Screengrab from Twitter

A trend that stormed in next was introducing the Diwali ad models with grumpy expressions and bereft of the Bindi. Though the modern Hindu woman may not wear the Bindi in her everyday life, they certainly do on occasions and festivities. Even if a handful of liberal leftist women identifying as Hindu occasionally choose not to wear one, or genuine Hindu women give a Bindi a miss for personal preferences, these exceptions cannot be taken as a rule. 

That the Bindi is an integral part of the Sanatan culture is established since antiquity. And that every high-profile fashion brand chose to skip the Bindi on their models’ this year reeked of a discreet attack peddled by strong Hindu-hating entities be it internal or external to Bharat.

Be it religious celebrations like Diwali or social occasions like marriages, these celebrations bring joy to the lives of the people. The Bindiless models representing these occasions looked gloomy in every commercial presented by the likes of Tata Cliq or Fabindia thereby taking away the joyful celebratory mood of the festivals. These ads are anything but the representation of a blissful and happy Hindu festival. Jewellery brand Tanishq, learning nothing from their misadventure from last year, featured a sombre looking lady with a backdrop of Arabic arches. This action was questioned and challenged by Hindus on Twitter and was rectified only after a mammoth backlash.

A massive outrage on social media with the hashtag #NoBindiNoBusiness took social media by storm, forcing several ad campaigns to add a digitized Bindi on their models and reintroduce the images for Diwali advertisement.

Famous fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee faced heavy flak for his ad campaign launching his designer Mangalsutra. The sanctity of Mangalsutra was relegated with the designer introducing his designs calling it “intimate jewellery”, making even men sport it, and if that was not enough, had hideous semi-naked models and objectionable postures presenting a contorted idea of the sacred symbol of Hindu matrimony.

The ad was discontinued after Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra warned the designer against insulting Hindu religious traditions adding that legal action would be initiated against the designer. This is not the first time the BJP leader had to take a company to task for their slighting of Hindu traditions.

Right before Karwachauth, consumer goods brand Dabur, promoted lesbianism via its commercial for a hair removal cream. The now-discontinued commercial featured a lesbian couple observing Karwachauth for each other. Though Article 377 has been squashed, same-sex marriage has not been legalized in Bharat. Besides, the Karwachauth is an observation of the Hindu married woman for her husband, hence the attempted deviation in the ad was evident.

However, Crocs crosses all limits of degeneracy with its latest ad. A model in an ad is the representation of the ad maker’s idea of their consumers. While others have cunningly removed the bindi from the Hindu woman’s forehead, Crocs India, in association with Cosmo India, puts a Hijab on her, right before Diwali. Is Crocs laying the foundation of an Islamic India with its brazen cultural invasion? Companies and their ad makers have a lot to answer. It is high time they stopped taking Hindus for granted with their distorted ads.

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