So, what’s new on the block? Who are we after today? Who do we shame today? What do we boycott today?
Tanishq fell under the recent “moral-policing” radar, pertaining to “saving” the society, particularly the youth, from love-jihad.
In rather crazy and challenging times of mob-lynchings, honour killings, significant gender bias, climate change, and oh dear god, the elephant in the goddamn room – a pandemic, a health massacre, and interfaith marriage is the problem we pick on? Are you kidding me?
And a pretty consensual interfaith marriage, mind you! The couple is OK, the families are OK, the ad-creators are OK, the big brand is OK, as are the ones who must have invested in it, but you – the ones sitting behind that TV, or that screen, who have no business in it, have an issue.
#BoycottTanishq is surfacing and leading the hashtag game on Twitter at the moment for trying to promote love beyond caste and faith. And we, the society, failed it. Why? Because we like to be in shambles. We don’t want love, not when we have to protect our religion, faith, and community. The 45 seconds ad showed (since it’s now been taken down) a Muslim family celebrating a traditional South Indian baby shower ceremony for their daughter-in-law.
Isn’t it aspirational? I mean, shouldn’t it be aspirational? Well, in my definite opinion, mainly because I come from a mixed parentage of a Musalmaan father and Punjabi mother, I see it as bloody aspirational. But most of us are intolerant to love when it goes beyond our caste or our favourite castes. Are we that love-intolerant?
Why aren’t we intolerant to things, people, capitalism, toxic masculinity, and femininity, polarizing one gender and one religion, and jobs that lower our morale, add zilch to our progress, and harm us? Instead, we take action and boycott something that is ‘hope’. Yes, hope, as simple as that. Advertisements, films, any media that has a reach as strong, opens up into so many homes, so many television sets, so many dining rooms, bedrooms, and conversations should focus on pushing hope. And not on stuff that is toxic and snatches hope away from us.
How difficult is it to understand just that? When did bringing each other down each become so cool? When and why did love beyond faith, secularity, respecting one another become so toxic?
How I see it – when I meet someone with zero knowledge of who they are, where they come from, the religion they follow (if they follow one, that is), I respect them as it is; that is my starting point. It is there on only based on their actions, their values, what they say, irrespective of where they come from, religion-caste-faith wise, does my respect for them reduce or rise. BUT based on the human being that they are, not on the religion that they follow.
If a relationship, a marriage is toxic, abusive, problematic, sure, please boycott it and make that issue trends on Twitter. Create a wave that makes this society a better, more liveable place. Bure ko bura maano, jo acchaai ko accha kaho.