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Sunday, June 11, 2023

Manyavar commercial featuring Alia Bhatt vilifies Hindu wedding ritual Kanyadaan

Attacking Hindu rituals in the garb of making a feminist point has become a trend these days and multiple brands have been hopping on the bash-Hindu-rituals bandwagon. Taking no notes from Tanishq’s ad fiascos, clothing brand Manyavar took to hurting Hindu religious sentiments through their latest commercial.

With Alia Bhatt as the brand ambassador of the festive wear brand, the ad takes a dig at the sacred Hindu marriage ritual of Kanyadaan.

Distortion of Kanyadaan

The Kanyadaan has been continued from the times of antiquity in Bhaart; the Sanskrit word roughly translates into ‘giving away the daughter’. During the Hindu marriage ceremony, the groom is looked upon as Bhagwan Vishnu and the daughter is hailed as Maa Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

By “giving away” his daughter, the father is bestowing upon the groom the most valued and precious part of his self, his daughter. Also, through Kanyadaan, Lakshmi is united with Vishnu. In Hindu belief, Kanyadaan is said to be one of the highest forms of Dāna. Note: Dāna is not ‘donation’, but something far deeper in Hindu and other Dharmic traditions.

The word “Daan” is not limited to materialistic possessions as Alia Bhatt alludes in the ad. As per Bharatiya tradition, every precious, dear and virtuous element can be given as a “daan”, like vidyadaan, jeevandaan, and as introduced in recent culture, raktadaan and angdaan. An adopted son is called “Dattak Putra”, meaning, the putra (son) has been gotten as a Daan from his parents to the adopting parents. But, understandably, ad makers of questionable knowledge to fathom the depth of Hindu Dharma traditions inherited by generations through thousands of years. 

The mentally colonised HINOs (Hindu in Name Only) involved in making of this ad should find a few minutes listening to scholar Nityananda Misra; maybe it will undo some of the damage done by trite Western theories drilled into their minds:

While the above is more of a religious account of Kanyadaan, another way to understand this ritual is that the father figuratively gives the responsibility of his daughter to the groom with the hope and expectation that the groom will keep his daughter happy for life. Now you can look at this as a sign of a father’s love for his daughter, or through an ultra-feminist lens as a patriarchal practice. Btw, the groom’s mother also believes she is handing her son into the care of his future wife – but that too can be interpreted as patriarchy by the leftist/HINO cabal!

Others pointed out the stereotyping of Hindus through contrived, scripted narrations which were liberally sprinkled in the Manyawar ad – just another example of deracinated HINOs trying to ‘civilize the native populace’!

Silence on non-Hindu rituals?

Why does a HINO denigrate Kanyadaan but swoon over everything related to a Christian marriage, from the bridal gown, to wedding cakes, AND the Western practise of ‘giving away the bride’ where the girl’s father walks her down the Church aisle?

Giving the Bride Away (Source: Four Fifteen Estates)

And what about Islamic Nikah, which is actually a marriage contract where the groom pays money (mehr) to the bride. A tad too transactional, perhaps? And what about the misogynistic practises like Triple Talaq (it is only instant triple tralaq that has been banned), Nikah Halala and Nikah mut’ah (temporary marriages)? Why aren’t our brave, progressive HINO/leftist ad-makers trying to affect change where it is really needed? But maybe they don’t want to see their studios burnt down and offices stone pelted, so pick on the easy target: Hindus.

Unfortunately, Hindu parents do not invest time in educating their children about the significance of Hindu rituals and they often grow up believing the contorted narrations provided by groups of left-leaning anti-Hindu institutions pervading all walks of life, from academia to popular culture. 

Conning Hindus

This is not the first time the Kanyadaan has been vilified by pseudo-flagbearers of morality and gender equality; the sanctified Hindu custom has been attacked multiple times before. And these attacks always come from those who have lost connect with their roots, or those who nurse hate for Dharma but adopt the mask of social reform 

Makers of the Manyavar commercial have tried to exploit Bollywood celebrity Alia Bhatt’s popularity among youngsters and attempted to indoctrinate young Hindu minds against their traditions. But Alia Bhatt is neither a Hindu nor a Bharatiya.

The actress has a British passport like her mother Soni Razdan. Her father Mahesh Bhatt had converted to Islam in order to marry Soni as his second wife -so Soni Razdan (daughter of a German mother and a Kashmiri Pandit father) would have converted to Islam too for the marriage as sharia law doesn’t allow a Muslim man or woman to marry a polytheist Hindu. Alia’s sister’s name is Shaheen Bhatt, which indicates the socio-religious milieu that their parents raised the children in.

Mahesh Bhatt was born to a Hindu father but raised by his Muslim mother after the separation of his parents. After a dalliance for some years with Osho, he has now been revealed as a rabid Hindu-hater – a man with an Islamist worldview who praises terror-accused televangelist Zakir Naik, propagates the conspiracy theory that RSS was behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, and even labelled Hindu-majority Bharat as ‘a land of the blind’ and asked Muslims to ‘fight for justice’.

His son Rahul Bhatt, from his first wife (Lorraine Bright aka “Kiran Bhatt”), was a close friend of Pakistani-America jihadi, David Coleman Headley, born Daood Sayed Gilani, who played a vital role in plotting the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and is presently in a US jail. Mahesh Bhatt had once infamously expressed the desire to marry his elder kanya Pooja Bhatt if she had not been his daughter, and has been photographed while locking lips with her.

Not to be left behind, Soni Razdan, told a newspaper that she will be “much happier” living in Pakistan. Alia Bhatt herself supported the violent anti-CAA protests and is also a supporter of Islamist ‘journalist’ and serial fake news peddler Rana Ayyub.

So the daughter of an Islamist who brazenly flaunts his incestuous tendencies should be the last choice for sending out any message about any Hindu ritual. If anything Alia Bhatt should be the face of protest against several misogynistic practices prevalent in her father’s chosen faith. But that requires real strength of convictions and ability to ‘spead truth to power’!

Another non-Hindu Bollywood celebrity who recently spoke out against the “regressive custom of Kanyadaan” is actress Dia Mirza. Born to a Christian father, adopted and raised by her mother’s second husband who is a Muslim, Dia Mirza was pregnant at the time of her second wedding. Such people should refrain from commenting about rituals they have no understanding of, and frankly no right to practice.


Hindu festivals have always been an eyesore for the left-liberal cabal. The holy practices and symbols of the Vedic marriage are now being openly targeted. The sindoor, mangalsutra, bichhiya and other adornments that add to the beauty of a Hindu blissfully married woman are slighted as signs of ‘patriarchy’ by the very clique that sees empowerment in Hijab and a black robe from top to bottom. This is an institutionalized assault on Hindu Dharma that can only be countered by instilling true Dharmik knowledge in youth.

Meanwhile, we would encourage Hindus to make their strong opposition known to Manyawar/Mohey owners Ravi Modi and paarent company Vedant Fashions Ltd. Calling yourself a ‘celebration wear brand’ and then spitting on Hindu weddings is neither smart, nor wise.

Feel free to write to [email protected] and share your views with the company’s twitter handle @Manyavar_ with the hashtag #BoycottHinduphobicManyavar. Also, feel free to share your views with Shreyansh Baid, Director of Shreyansh Innovations – the creative ad agency which produced the ad.  

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