Society Magazine

Mirror to the Society

Posted on the 15 May 2014 by Yamini
Fearing the dawn of the rise of communal forces, when I look into myself and look around me, it has already happened.
Advertising reflects the society, if not the entire society atleast the dominant parts of it, if not even that atleast the makers.

If one clinically describes the ad: A Hindu couple is waiting infront of their house looking for their key, while a Muslim Neighbor invites them to wait inside and they are visibly discomforted to accept the invitation, however the smell of the tea draws them in and builds a bond.
The things that one can note
a)The viewer is expected to identify with the Hindu Couple. The Hindu Couple is "we"
b)The Muslim woman is the neighbor
c) Though being neighbors the Hindu Couple, still is visibly discomforted to wait in the Muslim woman's house
d) The woman says "Chai ki bahut achi khushboo aati hai iske ghar se". Note the work iske, don't we use inke as a sign of respect. Well whoever respects a Muslim woman any way.
e) There is a little girl accompanying the Muslim woman. The child is needed very needed, if not for the child how would the Hindu couple ever trust a Muslim lady. She being a mother, is a kind of certificate for her being a "good Muslim" And yes the girl needs to be in a Hijab, how can a Muslim girl not be in a Hijab? No I'm not contending whether Hijab is right or wrong. The point is the ad uses to show how Islam enforces religion even on kids, contrasting the free Hindu religion (Well we are oblivious to caste and a million other things anyway)
Now after so much talk of secularism and so many years of existence of the "Indian nation", the "non-Hindu" is still the other. This is nothing new, unfortunately we have heard it several times and now turned deaf to this. But this coming on a national TV commercial in the so called modern era, where the younger generation has supposedly moved beyond the caste, class, religion is a thing to be noted.
Now if we look at what the "experts" are saying
People have used the terms like "social cause", "very real", "bridging the gap", "spreading the message" to describe the ad, yes the new age liberated young Indians.
This can come only from a nation which considers everything "non-Hindu" as an aberration, as neighborly but never us, as other.  From a nation that has taken the suspicion, hatred and discomfort with the "others"  as a base line, as a given.
Here we were fretting about the rise of fascism, yes fascism has risen deep within us

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