Bengaluru: Even before the controversy over Fabindia’s Diwali collection named ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’ could die down, another Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Karnataka has taken offence to another advertisement — by tyre manufacturer Ceat, starring Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan.
BJP’s Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada and former Union minister Anantkumar Hegde wrote a sarcastic letter to Anant Vardhan Goenka, MD and CEO of Ceat, on 14 October, which has now gone viral after it was uploaded to his official Facebook page.
Hegde, who is no stranger to controversies, has invoked Goenka’s religious identity of being a Hindu to suggest he could “feel the discrimination done to Hindus since centuries”.
“Your company’s recent advertisement in which Amir Khan (sic) advising people not to fire crackers on the streets is giving a very good message. Your concern to public issues needs applause,” begins the letter.
However, from the second paragraph onwards, the MP goes after Muslims and their customs.
“It is very common scene in many Indian cities where Muslims block busy roads and perform Namaz. At that time, vehicles like ambulances and firefighter vehicles are also stuck in traffic causing grave losses. I also request you to highlight the issue of noise pollution in your ads. Every day loud noise is emitted from mikes (sic) arranged on top of mosques in our country when Azan is given,” Hegde wrote.
“Nowadays , a group of Anti-Hindu actors always hurt the Hindu sentiments whereas they never try to expose the wrong doings of their community,” Hegde alleged, adding that Ceat’s advertisement starring Aamir Khan has “created an unrest among Hindus”.
ThePrint’s attempts to reach Hegde over phone calls yielded no response.
The ad in question
The Ceat advertisement that Hegde has accused of “hurting Hindu sentiments” went on air on 19 September 2021. The 30-second advertisement shows Aamir Khan asking children of an apartment complex to burst as many crackers as they want, but inside the society premises and not on the roads.
The advertisement ends with Aamir Khan, along with the children, bursting crackers on the road, as Ceat claims its tyres are secure despite the firecrackers.
Hegde’s attack on the advertisement comes two days after his party colleagues like Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya and BJP National General Secretary C.T. Ravi went after clothing chain Fabindia for its ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’ advertisement, which has been pulled down since.
(Edited by Shreyas Sharma)