Many netizens accused FabIndia of appropriating Diwali.
The clothing retailer FabIndia was forced to withdraw its latest Diwali ad after it faced backlash from netizens.
Several netizens accused the ad of using Urdu to celebrate the Diwali clothing collection.
The collection is titled Jashn-e-Riwaaz, which translates to “celebration of tradition”.
A tweet of the advert led to accusations from social media users who said it hurt their religious sentiments.
FabIndia issued a statement shortly after and said that ‘Jashn-E-Riwaaz’ was not its Diwali clothing collection and the ‘Jhil Mil Se Diwali’ collection is yet to launch.
FabIndia sells home furnishings, furniture and food alongside clothes. The 61-year-old fashion retail brand is widely recognised for its ethnic wear.
Established in 1960, FabIndia sources its products from villages helping to provide and sustain rural employment across India.
FabIndia products are currently produced by over 40,000 artisans and craftspeople across India.
But following the advert, many netizens accused FabIndia of appropriating Diwali and demanded a boycott of the brand.
This led to the hashtags #BoycottFabIndia and #DiwaliIsNotJashnERiwaaz to trend on Twitter.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Yuva Morcha president Tejasvi Surya slammed the ad on Twitter.
He said: “Deepavali is not Jash-e-Riwaaz.
“This deliberate attempt to abrahamisation of Hindu festivals, depicting models without traditional Hindu attires, must be called out.
“And brands like @fabindianews must face the economic cost for such deliberate misadventures.”
FabIndia on Jashn-e-Riwaaz:
“Our current capsule of products Jashn-e-Riwaaz is celebration of Indian traditions. The phrase means that, literally. Capsule is not our Diwali collection. Our Diwali collection 'Jhilmil si Diwali' is yet to be launched.”#jashneRiwaaz #Fabindia
— Vani Mehrotra (@vani_mehrotra) October 19, 2021
A spokesperson from FabIndia said:
“We at FabIndia have always stood for the celebration of India with its myriad traditions in all hues.
“Our current capsule of products under the name Jashn-e-Riwaaz is a celebration of Indian traditions.
“The phrase means that, literally.
“The capsule is not our Deepavali Collection of products.
“Our Diwali collection called ‘Jhilmil Si Diwali’ is yet to be launched.”
FabIndia is not the first brand to face right-wing pressure.
The clothing brand Manyaavar also faced backlash on social media in the past.
The ad, which featured Alia Bhatt, showed the actress questioning the practice of giving girls away during weddings.
FabIndia took to Twitter on October 18, 2021, to reveal its new collection.
In a tweet, the brand wrote: “As we welcome the festival of love and light, Jashn-e-Riwaaz by Fabindia is a collection that beautifully pays homage to Indian culture.
The ad read: “The rustle of silk… gleam of zari.
“The sparkle of jewels… the fragrance of flowers in hair.
“The sweetness of mithai and happiness of homecoming.
“Let the festivities begin with ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’.”
The FabIndia tweet has since been deleted alongside the ad.