The latest advertising by apparel manufacturer Manyavar-Mohey has been a topic of discussion on the Indian Internet. The hashtag #BoycottManyavar started trending on Twitter, and the apparel brand’s advertising features Bollywood star, Alia Bhatt.
Manyaavar is aimed at men’s sherwanis and kurtas for wedding fashion in India, whilst the female version of the brand, known as ‘Mohey,’ is aimed at women’s bridal fashion.
The advertisement featuring Alia Bhatt portrays ‘Kanyadaan’ as an oppressive practice and suggests ‘Kanyamaan’ as an alternative.
Manyavar claimed that it was “Promoting a progressive way of thinking, one tradition at a time!” Apparently, ‘Kanyamaan’ “gives a new spin to wedding rituals, highlighting the idea of respecting brides instead of ‘giving them away’.”
The campaign against the Hindu ritual of Kanyadaan has drawn sharp criticism on social media, with people incensed that time and again only Hindu customs and traditions are targeted while actual oppressive customs of other faiths get a free pass from brands.
People criticised the selectivity of brands repeatedly targeting only Hindu rituals while giving others a free pass.
Others pointed out the stupidity of the whole advertisement, especially at a time when Hindu women have made such great achievements in every walk of life. Some people also highlighted the complicated history of the Bhatt family, of the time when Alia’s father, Mahesh Bhatt, said that he would have married Pooja Bhatt if she weren’t his daughter.