Ad celebrating interfaith harmony backfires in India

According to some hardliners, the ad which shows a friendship between a Hindu girl and Muslim boy is promoting 'Hindu phobia'


KARACHI: An Indian advertisement which celebrates interfaith harmony is not sitting well with some people in India.

The Surf Excel af shows a young girl celebrating Holi with other children in her neighbourhood. She asks the kids if all the color has finished and cycles her way to pick a friend who is seen wearing a white shalwar kameez. They ride on the bicycle together and she drops him off at a mosque.

The boy says, “Namaz parh kar ata hoon” (I will return after saying my prayers) and girl replies saying, “Baad main rang parega (you will get hit by colors later).” The feel-good ad complimented with a melodious and catchy jingle, the message is loud and clear: about Hindus and Muslims living co-existing in harmony.

But despite being loud and clear, the message wasn’t received well by all.

Hindustan Unilever is facing severe backlash for what is being perceived as promotion of Islam over Hinduism by some hardliners. Some critics have gone as far as to say that the ad is promoting “Hindu phobia”.

#BoycottSurfExcel has been trending on Twitter for the past 48 hours with others calling on to boycott Unilever products altogether. Some have gone to the extent of identifying all the products one needs to be mindful and calling for a complete ban.

The advertisement already has more than 9 million views on YouTube.

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