Clothing brand Manyavar finds itself in the midst of a controversy after one of its recently released advertisements again painted Hindu rituals and customs as ‘regressive’. The advertisement featuring Alia Bhatt portrays ‘Kanyadaan’ as an oppressive practice and suggests ‘Kanyamaan’ as an alternative.
Manyavar claimed that it was “Promoting a progressive way of thinking, one tradition at a time!” Apparently, ‘Kanyamaan’ “gives a new spin to wedding rituals, highlighting the idea of respecting brides instead of ‘giving them away’.”
The campaign against the Hindu ritual of Kanyadaan has drawn sharp criticism on social media, with people incensed that time and again only Hindu customs and traditions are targeted while actual oppressive customs of other faiths get a free pass from brands.
People criticised the selectivity of brands repeatedly targeting only Hindu rituals while giving others a free pass.
— Yo Yo Funny Singh 🇮🇳 (@moronhumor) September 18, 2021
— The Jaipur Dialogues (@JaipurDialogues) September 18, 2021
Social media users rued the fact that not enough awareness is raised against practices such as Nikah-Halala and Triple Talaq but brands have launched a crusade against Hindu traditions.
Woke feminism by drugwood to reform Hinduism. But total silence on cult of Halala, TTT, Polygamy, Iddat, Child marriage that views women as property@aliaa08 is probably inspired by her women-empowerment champ daddy to give gyan on Kanya ka Maanpic.twitter.com/HwDUuvHlmN
— Gems of Bollywood (@GemsOfBollywood) September 18, 2021
Others pointed out the stupidity of the whole advertisement, especially at a time when Hindu women have made such great achievements in every walk of life.
Indian women aced every field of life from technology, medicine, sports to politics ..
Thousands stories can showcase their achievements and inspire those who are struggling yet ..
But content creators believe that role reversal in Cadbury ad or Kanyamaan is real empowerment ..
— The Brain Doctor (@DNeurosx) September 19, 2021
Needless to say, this isn’t the first time that brands have targeted a Hindu ritual for their marketing campaign. In recent times, many brands, most notably Tanishq, have received severe backlash for their misguided activism.
Furthermore, it is rather perplexing that a Bollywood actress was hired for the advertisement, since the industry is notorious for its exploitation and objectification of women. Brands have time and again targeted the Hindu faith as they are clearly too afraid to raise awareness about the problematic practices of other faiths.
It is clear that the Hindu community is not pleased with the singling out of their religion for overt attacks, as is evident with the backlash against Manyavar. Furthermore, the premise of the whole ad is bizarre, given that the brand is perfectly aware that what they are suggesting is completely cynical and makes no sense at all.
They are completely aware that nobody will change ancient customs based on the recommendation of a clothing brand and yet, they do not really care as it is only about a marketing gimmick and nothing else. Their silence over customs of other faiths that actually harm women does end up revealing a lot about their misguided moral compass.
Source : OpIndia
Kanyadan vs ‘Kanya Maan’: Here is all you need to know about the Hindu wedding ritual and what the Manyavar ad gets wrong
Hindu rituals and traditions are suddenly at the centre of woke and left activism. Just how we await for an auspicious day or festival to begin anything new, the woke leftist activities too wait for such days to do the ‘shubhaarambh’ of their ‘social messaging’ campaigns. The only difference, our new beginning starts with breaking a coconut while their new beginning starts with telling how breaking a coconut is regressive and illogical.
A very recent example being clothing brand Manyavar’s ad film featuring Bollywood entertainer Alia Bhatt. The advertisement portrays ‘Kanyadaan’ as an oppressive practice and suggests ‘Kanyamaan’ as an alternative.
But what is Kanyadaan?
Author Nityānanda Miśra in a YouTube video addressed the three problematic messages in Bhatt’s recent ad film.
‘Daughters are considered property/ wealth’
Busting some myths, Nityānanda Miśra begins by explaining the meaning of ‘dhan’ straight from a Sanskrit dictionary. As per the book, dhan apart from wealth also means ‘something that is loved and considered to be valuable.’
In Sanatan, not just daughters but even sons are considered to be ‘dhan’ which is known as ‘putradhan.’ Quoting a Sanskrit shloka, he further explains how even ‘vidya’ or knowledge and education is considered to be dhan.
“विद्याधनं सर्व धनं प्रधानम्” which means knowledge is the most valuable thing that can be given to anyone.
‘Women are not to be given in charity’
Questioning the ‘regressive’ Hindu culture, the ad film in its second objectionable messaging says why should women be given away as charity at the time of marriage.
According to Miśra charity cannot be equated to merely wealth or money. In Sanatan, the concept of ‘daan’ expands from knowledge to even life known as ‘vidyadaan’ or jeevan daan’ respectively.
Demystifying the concept of ‘kanyadaan’, Miśra further informed about the concept of ‘putradaan’ as well. He also cited a shloka from the epic of Mahabharata to further his point.
‘From Kanyadaan to Kanyamaan’
Miśra begins by questioning why is ‘kanyadaan’ even considered an insult to the daughters by the ad filmmakers. He then read aloud a mantra which is recited at the time of the ritual of ‘kanyadaan.’
Explaining its meaning, the author says, “As per the mantra the parents of the bride have been referred to as Varun Devta meaning the lord of the oceans while the daughter is referred to as Surya Devta, the lord of the sun. While the groom is referred to as Vishnu Devta or the one who resides in the sky.”
“This signifies the sun’s movement at the time of sunrise from the horizon (as seen from the shore of an ocean) towards the sky indicating a new beginning,” he said further explaining how the concept of ‘kanyadaan’ is in fact ‘kanyamaan’ which need not be mentioned explicitly.
Before being accused of gender bias the author also explained how in Sanskrit, the word ‘dev’ is used to refer to male, ‘devta’ to female and ‘daivyatam’ to neutral.
As per other texts on ‘kanyadaan’, the mantra, japas and other actions performed at the time of the ritual signify the bride as Laxmi. The symbolic act of the bride’s father giving away his daughter to Narayan (the groom) is considered as him making his daughter the ‘grace’ of somebody else’s house.
Research, study and knowledge
It is time when brands realize that an airconditioned office, a fancy laptop and a bottle of beer are not the only prerequisites for a good campaign. Let’s take Bhatt’s ad film as a reference.
It is imperative to note that the shallow understanding of Sanatan culture arises when a layman tries to force-fit English meanings for non-translatable Sanskrit words. For example, the creative director or the copywriter without taking any extra effort to study the meaning of ‘dhan’ in Sanskrit equated it with wealth.
Similarly, ‘daan’ was exhibited as ‘monetary charity’ thereby denouncing the entire concept.
Even a cursory glance at the texts that decode the ritual of ‘kanyadaan’ would have suggested how the ritual is far from being regressive or ‘insulting.’
Talking about the marketing strategy, not sure how wise it was for a brand to tell its potential buyers that the occasion for which they are selling the expensive couture is rather regressive and should be done away with.
Source : OpIndia