This year, Navratri will not be graced by both Dandiya and Garba due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The rasas of Dandiya and Garba see devotees dressed in colourful traditional chaniya cholis and dancing to folk tunes as an offering to Goddess Durga. It is performed generally during the evenings of the nine-day-long festival, which finally culminates into Dussehra.
Devotees dance in circles and celebrate the auspicious nine (nav) nights (ratri), also known as Sharad Navratri, the occasion is believed to mark Goddess Durga's victory over demon Mahishasura, signifying the victory of good over evil. Most of the Hindus fast for nine days. The authenticity and vibe of the festival are just not limited to offering puja and havan. The colourful festival is vibrant in many ways. The nine days carry the significance of nine colours dedicated to Goddess Durga each day according to history.
At one end, people are missing Garba and vibe of the festival and enjoying the dandiya memes on Twitter. However, certain ad campaigns have courted multiple controversies and have hurt the sentiments of Hindus.
The recent trend that we witness on Thursday morning was #BoycottErosNow.
Let's take a look at what exactly happened.
Eros Now's social media campaign
From Saturday, day 1 of Navratri, Eros Now has been posting short videos and pictures from films produced by their company. Picture of Deepika Padukone from 2015's Bajirao Mastani. Kareena Kapoor Khan's Chhammak Chhallo avatar from the 2011 film Ra.One.
Sonakshi Sinha, Kangana Ranaut and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's film stills were also posted. With some of their posts, Eros Now colour theme on social media posts signifies the nine colours that people can wear and share pics by tagging Eros Now.
For instance, On Day 1 of Navratri, they shared a still of Deepika Padukone from 'Bajirao Mastani' and wrote: "Mastani is all set for Day 1 of #Navratri 2020! Doesn't @deepikapadukone look gorgeous in grey? #HappyNavratri."
View this post on Instagram
Red is confidence. Red is passion. Red is love. Red is the colour Navratri, Day 4! Take a look at how gorgeous #ErosNow leading ladies look in it ❤️ @katrinakaif @kareenakapoorkhan @sonamkapoor @dianapenty @deepikapadukone @madhuridixitnene @sridevi.kapoor @aslisona @preityzinta #ErosNow #HappyPhirrBhagJayegi #DeDanaDan #PremRatanDhanPayo #EnglishVinglish #Devdas #MissionKashmir #HeyyBabyy
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Step into Day 2 of #Navratri2020 looking fierce, like the colour orange, and these divas! @kareenakapoorkhan @sonamkapoor @madhuridixitnene @aishwaryaraibachchan_arb @nargisfakhri @kanganaranaut @katrinakaif @aslisona #ErosNow #Devdas #DeDanaDan #PremRatanDhanPayo #Rockstar #HumDilDeChukeSanam #TanuWedsManuReturns #MainPremKiDiwaniHoon #Rajkumar
On day 4, Red is confidence. Red is passion. Red is love. Red is the colour Navratri, Day 4! Take a look at how gorgeous #ErosNow leading ladies look in it," Eros Now said in the caption of their post.
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Exude grace and feel majestic as you wear royal blue today, on Day 5 of Navratri! Here's some inspiration from #Bollywood’s royalty. @aslisona @aishwaryaraibachchan_arb @madhuridixitnene @sridevi.kapoor @taapsee @kanganaranaut @kareenakapoorkhan #Navratri #RoyalBlue #SonakshiSinha #AishwaryaRai #MadhuriDixit #Sridevi #TaapseePannu #KanganaRanaut #KareenaKapoor
A post on Eros Now's social media handles starring Katrina Kaif in a yellow saree, alongside the quote, "Do you want to put the ratri in my Navratri."
Eros Now's Navratri posts offended several sections of the internet as #BoycottErosNow trended on Twitter. Eros Now's posts, as per certain sections, "mock Hinduism and its glorious festivals," and as a result of it, the company found itself on the receiving end of social media.
Netizens blame Ali Hussien, a Muslim CEO for the cause of anti-Hindu ad campaign
Netizens shared a comparison claiming that ever since the company hired Ali Hussein, a Muslim CEO, there have been 'anti-Hindu' tweets flowing in.
Many have also shared tweets that feature Katrina Kaif alongside the quote, "Do you want to put the ratri in my Navratri", and Salman Khan with the words, "You need a dandi to play dandiya – I have one."
Kangana Ranaut slams the OTT platform calls it a 'porn hub'
We must preserve cinema as a community viewing theatre experience,its more difficult to enthrall large section of audience than sexualise content for personal viewing, digitisation of art faces this major crisis, all streaming platforms are nothing but a porn hub. SHAME @ErosNow pic.twitter.com/qKHde2R4HI— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) October 22, 2020
Check out the Tweets below:
Sharing the alleged screenshots of Eros Now's Navratri posts, one user tweeted: "Look At What Type Of Post Is Posted By Eros Now On Instagram Regarding Navaratri. #BoycottErosNow"
Dear @ErosNow, Why have you posted these double-meaning vulgar banners for the auspicious festive season?— Dr Gaurav Garg (@DrGauravGarg4) October 22, 2020
I have a feeling that these brands already know that people will feel offended and they will run hashtags and therefore they will get FREE publicity. #BoycottErosNow pic.twitter.com/dL0usDBVF3
Dear HINDUS,— Sonal (@sonalrai99) October 22, 2020
They insult our deities on each nd every festival in the name of rights nd called themselves as SECULARS #BoycottErosNow
When we protest against them they named us as kattar Or Sanghi.
So be proud to be Sanatani and protest against them. #पालघर_बाकी_है pic.twitter.com/ZYZuUt3e7q
Just putting it out there...— Sonakshi Dogra (@DograSonakshi) October 22, 2020
Everything exists because of a series of event that led to its creation
This jihad is both SoftCore and HardCore, below is representation of SoftCore and as for hardcore please search Delhi, Bangalore, Paris, Sweden #BoycottErosNow pic.twitter.com/JsbbfgDJ0F
We strongly support #BoycottErosNow and condemn their #Hinduphobic behavior.— khemchand sharma #IStandWithFarmersBill (@SharmaKhemchand) October 21, 2020
Vulgar video post are made for #DurgaPuja and #Dandiya but @ErosNow was very sensitive (Sanskari) while wishing #Eid ...
We can't tolerate such anti Hindu campaign.
Shares of Eros Now dropped
#erosnow share prices dropped 2.52% in last 2 hours. #erosnow this is not going to stop. Your CEO & content directors are more concerned about propagating their propaganda.— Radharamn Das (@RadharamnDas) October 22, 2020
So be it..
No Sanatani will buy your shares, watch your movies etc. #BoycottEros #BoycottErosNow pic.twitter.com/9Q5HDH5tfd
Eros Now apologies
Eros Now reacted to the flak on social media and released a statement on Twitter apologising for the same.
"To all those concerned, We at Eros love and respect our cultures equally. It is not, and it has never been, our intention to hurt anyone's emotions. We have deleted the concerned posts, and we apologise for having offended anybody's sentiments. Thanking you, Team Eros Now."
For the unversed, owned by Eros Digital, Eros Now is an OTT video-on-demand entertainment and media platform launched in 2012.