Fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee withdrew the promotional campaign for its mangalsutra collection on 31 October after Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra issued a “24-hour ultimatum” and threatened to send the “police force”. Mishra’s threat of action had earlier made Dabur pull down its lesbian Karwa Chauth commercial.
“In the context of making heritage and culture a dynamic conversation, the Mangalsutra campaign aimed to talk about inclusivity and empowerment. The campaign was intended as a celebration and we are deeply saddened that it has instead offended a section of our society. So we at Sabyasachi have decided to withdraw the campaign,” the designer’s company wrote in an Instagram story.
Earlier on 31 October, Mishra told reporters, “I have warned earlier about such advertisements. I am personally warning designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, giving him a 24-hour ultimatum. If this objectionable and obscene advertisement is not withdrawn, then a case will be registered against him and legal action will be taken. The police force will be sent for the action.”
Narottam Mishra said, “Why do such painful incidents take place only with Hindu symbols? If Mukherjee has courage, he should do it with some other religion, then we will understand that he is a real brave man.”
The mangalsutra advertisement by Brand Sabyasachi Mukherjee showed some transgenders wearing mangalsutra besides a woman in a low neckline dress with the ornament dangling on her cleavage.
After the designer shared these pictures, it created a controversy as a section of social media users stated it was “against Hindu culture” and “obscene”.
The mangalsutra is a necklace worn by married Hindu women.
Last week, Dabur India Private Limited had withdrawn its Fem cream bleach advertisement, which showed a same-sex couple celebrating Karva Chauth after Mishra termed it objectionable and warned of legal action against the company.