Once again a Hindu festival is on target by the advertisement of a jewellery company. The famous PNG jewellers in their advertisement for the upcoming ‘Gudi Padwa’ festival removed Bindi from their model’s forehead for the advertisement in the English newspaper. The same model wears a bindi in the vernacular language newspaper.
This act is not just about how women celebrate ‘Gudi Padwa’ but also how they are being judged based on their attire. Soon after the screenshots and the paper cuttings were circulated on the internet, social media users called for a campaign ‘No Bindi No Business’.
The ‘No Bindi No Business’ trend dates back to October 2021 when author Shefali Vaidya following an American brand Fab India’s Diwali launch tweeted, “Speaking for myself. Not buying anything for #Deepawali from ANY brand that shows models without a bindi. #NoBindiNoBusiness”
The trend forced clothing brand Fab India to change the Urdu name of its Diwali collection ‘Jashn-e-Riwaz’ to ‘Jhilmil Si Diwali’. In a deliberate attempt of abrahamising the Hindu festival of Diwali, the Fab India group in its Diwali advertisement campaign had launched the ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’ collection.
“Bindi has nothing to do with an individual’s personal choice. It is about brands de-Hinduising Deepawali with models looking like Rudaalis at a Janaza. If brands want Hindu money, they should respect Hindu sentiments”, said Shefali Vaidya.
NOT about an individual’s personal choice. It is about brands de-Hinduising Deepawali with models looking like Rudaalis at a Janaza. What YOU do in your personal life is your problem, but if brands want Hindu money, they should respect Hindu sentiments. #NoBindiNoBusiness https://t.co/PwaNsv1ftN
— Shefali Vaidya. 🇮🇳 (@ShefVaidya) October 22, 2021
With the recent PNG advertisement, Vaidya has again called for the campaign ‘No Bindi No Business’ from her official Twitter account. She also asked the users to boycott the brand and send mails and call on to their toll-free numbers to register their complaints.
She wrote, “Check out ads by @PNGJewellers for #Gudhipadwa in today’s papers. Same HINDU festival, same model, same brand, but see d diff. PNG thinks Hindu women who read English papers celebrate #gudipadwa wearing NO BINDI. But ‘vernac’ women who read Marathi papers do. #NoBindiNoBusiness”
Check out ads by @PNGJewellers for #Gudhipadwa in today’s papers. Same HINDU festival, same model, same brand, but see d diff. PNG thinks Hindu women who read English papers celebrate #gudipadwa wearing NO BINDI. But ‘vernac’ women who read Marathi papers do. #NoBindiNoBusiness pic.twitter.com/44FoH7pgJ8
— Shefali Vaidya. 🇮🇳 (@ShefVaidya) March 18, 2023
Many users came out in her support and wrote:
A user wrote, “This has been happening for years now. Showing only fomenting helps, low paid workers in sarees, bindi and all. The lady of the house, would be in “professional” attire and only help fully endowed. How long some of us have been screaming about it.”
Another user wrote, “Frankly speaking, don’t these “woke” actresses have any shame? Inspite of #BoycottbollywoodCompletely they still agree to this nonsense!! Sleeveless blouses, no bindi. All women in cities don’t wear bindis on festivals ? @PNGJewellers What’s wrong with you guys?”
A user said, ‘Same is the case with many jewellers and fashion brands. They want money from Hindus but do not want to follow our culture. Shameful ad @PNGJewellers
And these actresses are Hindus. How do they agree to these type of ads just for sake of money?’
Same is the case with many jewellers and fashion brands. They want money from Hindus but do not want to follow our culture. Shameful ad @PNGJewellers
And these actresses are Hindus. How do they agree to these type of ads just for sake of money? #NoBindiNoBusiness
— Srinivas 🇮🇳 (@Nation_frst) March 18, 2023
Another user wrote, “Sindoor bhi kidhar hai… These jewelers what they think of themselves?? Mafias or what? Sometimes it raises my mind thinking how would they be able to pay front page ads, showroom rent, staff salary, and advertising?”
This is not the first time PNG has done this. Back in 2021 Vaidya pointed out one of their advertisement presented as the Diwali collection. The model in that collection also not wear the Bindi.
Sad that even @PNGJewellers want to show their models without a Bindi for the Deepawali collection. Another brand scratched off my list. If you want Hindu money, learn to respect Hindu sentiments. #NoBindiNoBusiness pic.twitter.com/HsHk7gu8WD
— Shefali Vaidya. 🇮🇳 (@ShefVaidya) October 22, 2021
This is not the first time any ad has sparked controversy, there is a whole list to it and every time the target is Hindu culture and their festivals.
Talking about jewellers, the Malabar Gold and diamonds and the reliance gold both have sparked controversies in the past.
In April 2022, the Malabar gold was trolled for one of their advertisement before Akshay Tritya. In this ad. Acress Kareena Kapoor Khan was seen without a Bindi. A majority of Hindus expressed displeasure with the ad and called it an attempt to disregard Hindu traditions and festivals.
Similary, in April 2022, Reliance Jweles was trolled for one of their jewellery collection ‘Rannkaar’. As the model in the ad film was seen without a bindi on her forehead.
Sorry @reliancetrends #nobindinobusiness pic.twitter.com/LrywHVR42X
— Shefali Vaidya. 🇮🇳 (@ShefVaidya) April 13, 2022
On March 8, Bharat Matrimony a matrimonial site, shared a video associating the festival of colours, Holi, with harassment. In a video posted from their official Twitter handle they wrote, “A lot of women have stopped playing Holi due to the trauma they experience through harassment. Watch this video that brings this to life in a hard-hitting way. This Holi, let’s celebrate Women’s Day and choose to keep them safe every day. #BeChoosy #Holi #Holi2023 #WomensDay”
This Women's Day & Holi, let's celebrate by creating safer and more inclusive spaces for women. It's important to acknowledge the challenges that women face in public spaces and create a society that truly respects their well-being – today & forever.#BharatMatrimony #BeChoosy pic.twitter.com/9bqIXZqaXu
— Bharatmatrimony.com (@bharatmatrimony) March 8, 2023
Last year, Actor Amir Khan did the same by reversing the ‘Grih Pravesh’ (a ritual where the newlywed bride enters her new house after the wedding). He was doing an advertisement for AU small finance bank where the groom did the ‘Grih Pravesh’. This is against Hindu belief, and as said earlier, the whole industry is busy mocking Hindu beliefs to call themselves intellectuals.
#AamirKhan does it again – Uses Feminism to strike back
On pretext of Badlaav (change), suggests Men should become Ghar Jamaai
Bollywood brainwashes Women to change traditions, but never ques if Married Men hv equal Right to Residence in his Wife's Parental Home#VoiceForMen pic.twitter.com/I273FclBop
— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) October 7, 2022
Similarly, in September 2021, actress Alia Bhatt was featured in an advertisement where she questioned the age-old Hindu tradition of Kanyadaan. She was shooting an advertisement for the famous ethnic brand Manyavar.
Criticism and Review as per Section 52 of Indian Copyright Act, 1957. pic.twitter.com/McaE6Z2cQ8
— Gems Of Bollywood Fan (@GOBFanclub) September 18, 2021
In October 2020, an advertisement by diamond brand Tanishq sparked controversy. It was called out by the netizens for promoting “Love–Jihad”. The video showed a Hindu woman who is married to a Muslim family, preparing for her baby shower. Tanishq had to take down this advertisement following outrage on social media.
The Tanishq 'Love Jihad' ad that has now been taken down. Disgusting! pic.twitter.com/QuS1XBTVIO
— Sensei Kraken Zero (@YearOfTheKraken) October 12, 2020