A wedding advertisement by a clothing brand Manyavar-Mohey has become the talk of the town on the internet recently. Late on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the hashtag #BoycottManyavar trended on Twitter in the Indian region. The backslash was heavy but in a way, this got the brand a very good publicity chance. Now everyone all over India those who didn’t know about t about their brand or their recent release knows everything because of all of this hustle on internet. The brand got this backslash frame an advertisement that featured Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt for this clothing brand.
“Manyavar” is a clothing brand and in India, it is primarily directed at men’s Sherwanis, kurtas or wedding fashion. On the other hand, the female equivalent of the brand, under the name “Mohey” targets women in bridal fashion. So together they target men and women luxury bridal clothing.
So in their latest advertisement where Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt is shown at a Hindu Wedding Mandap waiting to perform some of the rituals before the marriage is considered finalized. The advertisement particularly focuses on how the girls in India are considered a burden and sometimes just seen as a liability to only get them to marry off.
In the advertisement, we see Alia Bhatt questioning where the practice of giving away the girl at the wedding, which in Hindi is known as “Kanya Daan” is something we should still be practising in the modern-day or not. The advertisement says that daughters are not property and they should be treated by a human being and not as an object that they can toss it away in the name of marriage out of their house. And instead of the advertisement ends on the note with the grooms parents also joining in on the controversial Hindu “Kanya Daan” ritual.
With Alia Bhatt summarizing it as it should be Kanya Daan respecting the women instead of donating her as soon as she is at a certain age. This is an old age religious system and so misogynistic in nature but in this modern day we still haven’t figured it out and yet we are still practising it. Instead, we all should rectify the mistake and try to give the equal right and respect to women also.
While the advertisement intends to address the sexism present in the practice and of a very harsh reality of how women are treated even in modern-day India. But a section of twitter sees this advertisement as an attack on Hindu wedding rituals by calling the practice of “Kanya Daan” in itself regressive.
Several other Twitter users defended the practice and started a hashtag #BoycottManyavar
Many people pointed out the fact that the true meaning of Kanyadaan is not really and or literally donating, or ‘daan’ as the name can mislead or the name can easily suggest. But Manyavar brand is not the first brand in India that has addressed such a sentimental and controversial issue. In a 2019 video that went viral on Twitter, the father of a bride read out a speech at the wedding, adding that his daughter was not property to give away. Many on social media came forward and objected to the idea of the father foregoing the ritual.
Some even accused of ‘mocking’ Hindu traditions, whereas others felt that the move was rather progressive. The bride’s wedding was conducted by four women priestesses, led by Nandini Bhowmick, who is also a drama enthusiast and professor of Sanskrit. She is well known in Kolkata for performing weddings without the ‘kanyadaan’ ritual. In a 2018 interview with New Indian Express, Bhowmick had said that she did not perform ‘kanyadaan’ as she thought it was a regressive custom.