Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar
File photo of Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar | PTI
Text Size:

New Delhi: Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar is in the news again, and this time for an advertisement. Kumar has received a lot of flak online for appearing in a commercial of Nirma washing powder that allegedly mocks the Maratha warriors.

The ad, which was released on 3 January, shows Kumar as a Maratha king. The actor is shown returning after a victorious battle and showered with flower petals.

When he says “khushiyaan manaao” (let us celebrate), a woman quips: “What celebrations…you come back with such dirty clothes which we now have to clean.”

To this, Kumar says in the ad the king’s army not only knows how to thrash enemies but also how to wash clothes. The entire army and Kumar then set about washing their soiled clothes.

Many on social media are calling for a boycott of the Nirma washing power with the hashtag #BoycottNirma trending on Twitter. They are alleging that the ad belittles Maratha warriors and their bravery.

A police complaint was also filed against Kumar at the Worli police station in Mumbai Monday. The complainant, identified as Suryakant Jaggannath Jadhav, said the people of Maharashtra were deeply hurt by the advertisement. He has urged the police to take action against Nirma Limited and the actor for “maligning’ Maharashtrian culture”.

The commercial was made by production house Collective Art Private Limited.

Not the first ad to receive flak

Nirma Limited is based out of Ahmedabad, and was founded in 1969 by Karsanbhai Khodidas Patel, who heads the company. It has an annual turnover more than Rs 7,000 crore.

This is not the first time that an advertisement has received flak for ‘hurting sentiments’ of people.

In March 2019, an ad for Surf Excel (a detergent power) faced a lot of criticism after some people accused it of promoting love jihad and calling it Hindu-phobic. The ad featured a young Hindu girl and a Muslim boy. It showed the girl, dressed in white, choosing to get stained in Holi colours in order to protect her Muslim friend who has to go to a nearby mosque.


Also read: New Cadbury 5star ad invites flak on social media as many find it in poor taste


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

1 Comment Share Your Views

1 COMMENT

  1. There should be a regulation body to clear ads and movies fit for audience, this hitjobs by mafia funded bollywood will not be allowed.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here