Netizens have started trending ‘No Bindi No Business’ after Malabar Gold & Diamonds released Akshaya Tritiya advertisements featuring bindi-less Kareena Kapoor Khan.
Social activist Shefali Vaidya said if brands like Malabar Gold & Diamonds want Hindu money on Akshaya Tritiya, then they must respect Hindu symbols like the Bindi. She started the hashtag: No Bindi No Business. Soon it started trending on different social media platforms.
One Twitter user Guruprasad Gowda said, “Malabar Gold is promoting their jewellery for the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya, showing Kareena Kapoor Khan without bindi. Malabar Gold & Diamonds disregarding Hindu religious traditions while expecting Hindus to spend their money with them.”
Another netizen wrote, “The general belief is that making female models appear without bindis to sell their products, which they market as specific to the Hindu festivals, is done deliberately to wipe out the symbolic significance of the bindi for a Hindu woman.”
Another netizen protested, saying, “So called ‘The Responsible Jeweller’ releasing ad with Kareena Kapoor Khan without a bindi for Akshaya Tritiya! Do they care about Hindu culture?”
Shefali Vaidya had successfully started the social media campaign ‘No Bindi No Business’ just before Diwali last year. It all started with FabIndia launching their Diwali collection with the name Jashn-e-Riwaaz.
And there was a social media uproar about the appropriation of Hindu festivals. Some users also called it the ‘de-Hinduisation’ of Hindu festivals.
FabIndia issued a clarification saying it was not their Diwali collection. They launched another collection calling it Jhilmil Si Diwali.
Shefali Vaidya noticed something else too. She said, “It was not just the name which was problematic. The whole background of the advertisement was problematic. Model was not wearing any bindi, and diyas were missing from the picture.”
She further added that Bindi is the most visible symbol of the Hindu religion and so removing Bindi from the model’s forehead was not just any ordinary thing.
Diwali is celebrated to mark the return of Shri Ram to Ayodhya after 14 years of Vanvas. Vaidya said, “Starting from Dhanteras to Bhai Dooj, every day has a cultural and religious significance. There are rituals, customs and traditions associated with them. We can not allow it to be de-Hinduised.”
In order to push her views, she started the hashtag #NoBindiNoBusiness .
More than 11 lakh people saw her tweet with the hashtag #NoBindiNoBusiness, and the hashtag reached more than 20 lakh people.
It made an impact. The brands withdrew their ads and reissued them with visible Hindu symbols like Bindi, Diya and crackers.
Tanishq, a jewellery brand from the house of Tatas, reissued its advertisements removing Arabic arches from the picture and inserting a model with bindi and brass lamp.
The impact of Vaidya’s campaign is visible this time too. Malabar Gold & Diamonds has models featuring in Akshaya Tritiya advertisements with a bindi on its website.