A Diwali-themed advertisement featuring Bollywood actor Aamir Khan has run into controversy. In the ad, Aamir Khan is seen asking people to not burst crackers on the streets during the festival.
In a letter to the firm’s MD and CEO, Anant Vardhan Goenka, he asked him to take note of the recent commercial that caused “unrest among Hindus,” and expressed hope that the company would respect “Hindu sentiment” in the future.
“Your company’s recent advertisement in which Aamir Khan advising people not to fire crackers on the streets is giving a very good message. Your concern to public issues needs applause. In this regard, I request you to address one more problem faced by people on roads, i.e., blocking roads in the name of Namaz on Fridays and other important festive days by Muslims,” Hegde said.
In the letter, he mentioned that Muslims blocking busy roads and performing Namaz is a very common sight in India. Furthermore, vehicles like ambulances and firefighter vehicles stuck in traffic cause “grave losses” at that time, he added.
In addition, the MP from Uttara Kannada requested that Goenka highlight the issue of noise pollution in the company’s advertisements, stating that every day, “loud noise is emitted from mikes arranged on the top of mosques in our country when Azan is given”.
“That sound is beyond the permissible limits. On Fridays, it is prolonged for some more time. It is causing great inconvenience to people suffering from different ailments and taking rest, people working in different establishments and teachers teaching in classrooms. Actually, this list of sufferers is very long and only a few are mentioned here,” he said.
“As you are very keen and sensitive towards the problems faced by the general public and you also belong to the Hindu community, I am sure you can feel the discrimination done to the Hindus since centuries,” he added in the letter.
“Therefore, I kindly request you to take cognisance of this particular incident where your company’s advertisement has created an unrest among the Hindus,” Hegde said.