On Monday, garments retailer Fabindia courted controversy with its advertisement about the upcoming festival of Diwali. On Saturday, Fabindia released their latest collection 'Jashn-e-Riwaaz' which has been featured by Vogue. The company took to their official social media handles and wrote, "As we welcome the festival of love and light, Jashn-e-Riwaaz by Fabindia is a collection that beautifully pays homage to Indian culture." But the retailer had to delete its original tweet after being heavily trolled.
The brand was accused of "defacing" the Hindu festival of Diwali and terming it Jashn-e-Riwaaz. Many slammed the brand for unnecessarily uplifting secularism and Muslim ideologies in a Hindu festival. The tweet was described by several sections of social media as "culturally inappropriate".
While several users pointed out that a simple 'Diwali' or 'Deepavali' in the description would have been enough for promotion, others expressed that there was no need to deconstruct the Hindu festival and infuse secularism in it. Some even put forth the fact that Hindu festivals bear the same significance as Muslim and Christian ones and amalgamating them was nothing short of disrespecting the particular religion.
BJP leader Tejasvi Surya also took to his Twitter handle and objected to the clothing brand's ad campaign. He tweeted:
Deepavali is not Jash-e-Riwaaz.
This deliberate attempt of abrahamisation of Hindu festivals, depicting models without traditional Hindu attires, must be called out.
" Tejasvi Surya (@Tejasvi_Surya) October 18, 2021
With #BoycottFabIndia hashtag trending on Twitter, the IPO-bound company was forced to take down some of its tweets promoting the collection.
According to a Times of India report, a Fabindia spokesperson said the collection titled 'Jashn-e-Riwaaz' is not its Diwali collection.
"Our Diwali collection, called "Jhilmil si Diwali" is yet to be launched," she said. "We at Fabindia have always stood for the celebration of India with its myriad traditions in all hues. In fact 'Fabindia " Celebrate India' is our tagline and also a wordmark. Our current capsule of products under the name Jashn-e-Riwaaz is a celebration of Indian traditions. The phrase means that, literally."
Meanwhile some netizens, came out in favour of FabIndia.
Petrol prices rising, Chinese encroaching into our territory, unrest among farmers, civilians being killed in J&K but let's first attack Fab India. 🙄 https://t.co/2C59ykKJuY
" Radhika Santhanam (@radhikasan) October 18, 2021
FabIndia, that sells one of the best Indian attires in the country, is getting cancelled because it named one of its collections as "Jashn E Riwaz"!
" Nikhil Rampal (@NikhilRampal1) October 18, 2021
In the past, Tata's jewellery brand Tanishq drew the ire of a section of social media when it launched an ad that promoted inter-faith marriage. With netizens slamming the viral ad, boycottTanishq started trending on social media.
Similarly, a recent ad by clothing brand Manyaavar featuring Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt ran into a social roadblock. Tyre maker Ceat's recent commercial featuring Aamir Khan urging people to refrain from burning crackers, too, landed in controversy.
FabIndia was started in 1960 by John Bissell and its first retail store was opened at Greater Kailash in New Delhi.
With inputs from agencies