A BJP legal advisor on Saturday issued a legal notice to the fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee for using "semi-naked models" for a Mangalsutra collection advertisement and hurting religious sentiments.
Advocate Ashutosh Dubey, legal advisor of BJP-Maharashtra Palghar district, in his notice stated that the advertisement is totally outrageous to the entire Hindu community as well as Hindu Marriage and asked to take off the advertisement within 15 days.
"I say that in your promotional social media posts featuring models posing solo or in intimate positions with others. In one picture, a female model is seen wearing a black brassiere and Sabyasachi's mangalsutra as her head rests on a shirtless male model is totally outrageous to the entire Hindu community as well as Hindu Marriage," Mr Dubey's notice read.
The legal advisor to BJP further in the notice said, "The Mangalsutra symbolises that the bride and groom will be mates for life until death separates them and you are exhibiting the "Mangalsutra" in an obscene way is outrageous and baseless."
"I say that as you used "semi-naked models for a Mangalsutra ad" is outrageous it's sentiments of Hindu Marriage because the term Mangalsutra is a combination of two words mangal and sutra. The word mangal means auspicious and sutra means thread - together mangalsutra means an auspicious thread uniting the souls and the groom ties the auspicious thread around the bride's neck on the day of their holy nuptial as the significance that their relationship would be as auspicious as the thread. It symbolises that they will be mates for life until death separates them and you are exhibiting the "Mangalsutra" in an obscene way is outrageous and baseless," he said.
He further said that a 'mangalsutra' is a symbol of marriage and the wife is meant to wear it all her life indicating the love and commitment the husband and wife have towards each other while adding that in ad campaign it has displayed semi-naked couple for a Mangalsutra ad which is outraging Hindu Marriage.
"I say that in India majority of people associate mangalsutra with a religious custom, there is also a sound scientific justification behind it. Hindu culture emphasises on wearing a mangalsutra made of pure gold and it is often advised that the mangalsutra should be hidden behind the inners and your promotional advertisement features heterosexual and same-sex couples posing for pictures wearing The Royal Bengal Mangalsutra, which is a part of the designer's intimate jewellery collection. These photos also feature models dressed in intimate apparel wearing a mangalsutra is outrageous and it is hurting religious sentiments," he added.
He further asked fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee to take back the advertisement posted on social media and to apologise to people.
"I, therefore, call upon you through this Notice that, on this holy relationship of "Hindu Marriage" by making such obscene as on "Mangalsutra" should be taken out and apologized to the public, under intimation within the period of 15 days, failing I am giving you clear instructions to publish the public statement and remove the semi-naked models for a Mangalsutra ad" or anything obscene related to holy Hindu Marriage "Mangalsutra" and apologies to public otherwise you will be fully responsible for all costs, risks, responsibilities, expenses, and consequences thereof. Please note well," he said in the notice.
Earlier, Consumer Goods Company Dabur India Limited has withdrawn an advertisement featuring a lesbian couple celebrating the Hindu festival of Karwa Chauth, hours after Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra criticised it for showing "objectionable content" and said that legal steps would be taken if the advertisement was not withdrawn.
Also, an advertisement by Ceat Ltd in which Bollywood actor Aamir Khan is shown advising people not to burst firecrackers on the streets received criticism from Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ananthkumar Hegde.
Recently, clothing brand Fabindia facing backlash withdrew its advertisement for its latest collection which it had called 'Jashn-e-Riwaaz'.