Detergent brand Surf Excel is facing backlash in India for a heart-warming commercial promoting Hindu-Muslim harmony as part of its latest Holi special #RangLaayeSang campaign.
The one-minute-long ad features a young Hindu girl, dressed in a white T-shirt, who chooses to get stained in Holi colours in order to transport her young Muslim friend to a nearby mosque for prayers.
The commercial ends with its classic tagline: “Agar kuch achha karne mein daag lag jaaye toh daag achhe hain” (Stains that come as a part of a good deed are good stains).
Released on February 27, the video has already been viewed 8,812,204 times on YouTube.
The commercial could not have been released at a more appropriate time. As the Indian government and media continue to fuel war-mongering in the society, the ad comes as a breath of fresh air bringing with it a message of love, unity and humanity.
Unfortunately, it didn’t go down too well with the extremist circles in India who resorted to the hashtag #BoycottSurfExcel to protest the ad and its message of Hindu-Muslim harmony.
Hate attacks against Muslims in India have been on the rise under the BJP rule, and were further fuelled after the worsening of relations between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the February 14 Pulwama attack.
India piled the blame for Pulwama bombing on Pakistan without presenting any proof. The allegations were strongly refuted by Pakistan.
In response, India said it carried out on February 26 air strikes on what it called a militant training camp at Balakot inside Pakistan. The Pakistan Air Force, in retaliatory action, downed two Indian aircraft the next day, capturing Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan who was then released as a peace gesture by Pakistan.