Unity in Diversity Denied!

If you put 100 black Ants and 100 red ants in a glass jar, nothing will happen, but if you take the jar, shake it violently, the ants will start killing each other. Reds will believe that black is the enemy and vice versa when the real enemy is the person who shook the Jar. –Tweeted by Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri.

The social media signifies freedom of expression; counter somebody, Twitter Hashtags against something wrong is very common these days. This week with a Tanishq brand new advertisement showcasing Hindu-Muslim unity through marriage was aggressively boycotted by the citizen of India through Twitter. It is assumed that the advertisement reached to wrong target customers who are Conservative Hindus. With the notion of Love Jihaad which prevails in our society, it is impossible for them to think that their Daughter and son should marry in different religion; and this is what Tanishq tried to promote with their advertisement. Two parallel narratives were started through twitter-war. One was against this portrayal of inter-religion marriage which according to them is “Love Jihaad” and it won’t be acceptable in our society, on the other hand, a section was supporting the advertisement and calling it one of the good things happened in 2020. Soon a hashtag was trending #boycotttanishq. Much has been expounded on how the contention over the Tanishq commercial is significant of who we’ve become as a country: isolated, narrow-minded, foul, unequipped for seeing a world without our bias coloured parallel focal points. How the India of the past was quite a lot more tolerating and pluralistic than India we’ve become. The recent controversy proved it true. The advertisement started with a woman entering her home with her mother-in-law and she has arranged everything according to the Hindu culture which was enjoyed by her daughter-in-law. She feels the comfort of acceptance in a truly unknown family. Mother –in –law gifted her Tanishq jewellery and said: “Every culture teaches to make their daughters happy”.

The Advertisement is released in the year of 2020. It is very different from the Era of 90s. India is the sign of “Unity in Diversity” but time has countered it with intolerance. On Doordarshan, popular Indians across religions and social foundations sang a similar tune of solidarity in variety, in the ‘Baje Sargam’ and ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’ recordings. From Akbar in Amar, Akbar, Anthony to Kadarbhai in Nukkad, movie producers and TV chiefs in the ’70-80s, made essential Muslim characters, which acquainted tehzeeb and adaah with our vocabulary.

Responding to the controversy Home minister Amit Shah said these small incidents cannot break India’s unity. He said “The roots of social harmony are very strong. There have been many such attacks on it. The British tried to break this harmony, later the Congress also tried the same,” Shah said in an exclusive interview to Editor-in-chief Rahul Joshi.

Remembering what Mahatma Gandhi has once quoted “Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and test of our civilization”. The fact that Tanishq has to put down their advertisement which created tension among people is the sign that those roots are breaking which taught us “Vasudhaiva kutumbakam”.

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