In her latest wedding campaign, Alia Bhatt appears stunning as a bride, but her dialogue pushing ‘Kanya maan’ and challenging the Hindu custom of ‘Kanyadaan’ has not gone down well with some.
The advertisement, which placed a modern spin on the age-old tradition of giving away women at weddings as part of a ritual known as ‘Kanyadaan,’ sparked debate online.
Bijay Anand, who plays Alia Bhatt’s father in a recent wedding wear advertising, has spoken out in favour of the actress as the campaign has sparked controversy. In this bridal wear advertisement, Alia criticises the practice of ‘Kanya Daan’ (where the father gives his daughter away during the wedding), wondering if she is something to be ‘given away.
This specific advertisement has caused a debate online, with some applauding its unique take on rites and customs and others accusing it of demeaning them. Bijay has now questioned why Alia was chosen for the advertisement. “We depend on the directors, scriptwriters, and production staff to execute their jobs properly and keep us out of trouble as actors.”
The actor added, “Since I’m not a specialist on the issue, they must consider the relevance and accuracy of the subject. Furthermore, everyone has their perception of events. Countless scholars have been countless scholars who have an opinion on every subject. If we were that intelligent, we should’ve been scientists,” he told the Bombay Times. He also mentioned looking at the ad from the right angle.
“Then why don’t you think about what she says, ‘Kanya ka maan Karo (honour female)’? Ultimately, it is your choice; I am not criticising anyone for anything, but we must remember that hatred breeds hatred. When you create a huge issue out of small details, it just escalates into something else in the long run. She’s a young girl speaking anything the director has directed her to say, but you’re just going to troll her. I believe that we actors, particularly girls, are the most vulnerable targets. In the end, hatred breeds hatred, and love spreads love.”
In the campaign directed by Abhishek Varman, Alia mentions each member of her family — grandmother, father, and mother — and how much they love her while sitting at the mandap with the bridegroom. Despite everyone’s love for her, she objects to being treated as the “other” and a transitory member of the family. “Am I something that can be given away?” “Why only Kanyadaan?” she wonders in an internal monologue.
When her mother-in-law and father-in-law also take the groom’s hand to give him away, she is overjoyed. Everyone here is happy, and the pair marries. While many praised the questioning of antiquated practises, it did not sit well with one segment of social media. Kangana Ranaut posted a lengthy post in which she claimed that women are revered in the religious texts and that viewing them as a “precious source of existence” is not immoral.
Kangana stated in the caption of her image, “Humble request to all brands…don’t use religion, minority, majority politics to sell stuff…Stop deceiving gullible consumers with clever polarising concepts and ad campaigns…”
Kangana spoke about the kanyadaan tradition and the concept of renunciation in her post. She also asked that people stop mocking Hindu customs. “When we watch a martyr’s dad on television, we recall him saying, ‘Don’t panic, I have another son, uska bhi Daan main iss dharti maa ko dunga.” “Kanyadan ho ya Putra dan, the way society views renunciation reveals its system of values…”
While this was welcomed as a new concept with a powerful message of female empowerment, some mirrored Kangana’s feelings.
Kangana Ranaut, who is embroiled in a legal dispute with Javed Akhtar, was last seen in the film Thalaivii, which was released in theatres on September 10th.
Alia has already worked with this bridal wear brand and shot an advertisement for them. She is currently filming Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani with Ranveer Singh for Karan Johar. She is also working on RRR and Brahmastra, both starring Ranbir Kapoor. She’ll soon begin filming for Farhan Akhtar’s Jee Le Zaraa, alongside Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif.