Trying To Promote Communal Harmony, Surf Excel Lands In Controversy

The Logical Indian Crew

March 11th, 2018 / 6:43 PM

The festival of colours is around the corner and popular detergent brand Surf Excel was caught in a Twitter-flap after they posted a heartwarming video on Hindu-Muslim unity for Holi. With the theme “Rang Laaye Sang”, the advertisement was meant to spread the beautiful message of communal harmony.

The video starts with children playing with colours. A little girl on a cycle, clad in all white, seemingly challenges other kids to throw colours at  her. From balconies and terraces, balloons filled with coloured water splashes all over her white kurta. Once the kids run out of colours, the little girl asks a young Muslim boy to go offer his namaz in the mosque. While dropping him at the mosque she tells him, “Be prepared for colours once you are out of the mosque.” He smiles and leaves.

The seemingly harmless video has hurt right-wing nationalists. With #BoycottSurfExcel, they are asking people to stop using Hindustan Unilever products, alleging that the video promotes “Love Jihad”. Twitteratti claim that the brand is insulting the Hindu festival by calling it “daag (stain)”.

While some people took undue offence at an innocent video, others focussed on the wonderful message of unity in diversity.

The Logical Indian take

The advertisement under one minute puts out an important message of communal harmony. It also showcases the innocence of children who are untouched by evils of caste, creed, colour or religion.

The advertisement in no way undermines the festival of colours. Neither does the video promote ‘love jihad’. In fact, the term “Love Jihad” that was first coined in 2007 in Kerala, gained a spot in public discourse two years later. However, there is evidence to prove “Love Jihad” exists.

The girl child in the video is shown helping her friend, while also telling him that once he is done with namaz (prayer), he is also going to meet the same colourful fate.

A message that grown-ups should perhaps imbibe, this Holi!

Also Read: One Established A Hindu University Another A Muslim University – Both For Communal Harmony


Written by : Poorbita Bagchi

Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi

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