Hours after Titan's Tanishq, a popular jewellery brand, was trolled viciously on social media for an advertisement featuring an interfaith baby shower, the brand issued a statement saying it was "deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions" and that it was withdrawing the video.
Referring to the barrage of savage comments directed at the brand and Ratan Tata (under whose Tata Group Tanishq rolls up), the statement said it was pulling the film "keeping in mind... the well-being of our employees, partners and store staff".
"The idea behind the Ekavatam campaign is to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life, local communities and families during these challenging times and celebrate the beauty of oneness. This film has stimulated divergent and severe reactions, contrary to its very objective," the statement said.
"We are deeply saddened with the inadvertent stirring of emotions and withdraw this film keeping in mind the hurt sentiments and well being of our employees, partners and store staff," it added.
Titan stock fell sharply amid the trolling today, ending 2.1 per cent down on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and 2.5 per cent down on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
The advertisement, released last week, has been targeted by a section on social media who felt it "promoted love jihad". But many others condemned the bigotry and hate-filled posts pushing the boycott trend, calling it completely against the Idea of India.
Those supporting it also urged industrialist Ratan Tata to stay strong in the face of such hate and not back down. Some also asked why Tanishq had bowed to pressure and taken the ad off air.
Noted author Chetan Bhagat and former Congress leader Sanjay Jha both called out to Mr Tata and Tanishq, telling them "don't get bullied". Earlier in the day Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Abhishek Singhvi tweeted; Mr Tharoor praised the ad as an example of Hindu-Muslim unity.
Those opposing the ad claimed Tanishq was promoting "love jihad". Some others alleged that the brand was also only promoting "Muslim" jewellery as opposed to "Hindu" jewellery.
The ad shows a pregnant woman in a sari escorted by a woman she calls "ma (mother)" to a baby shower ceremony. At the end the young woman asks the older woman, apparently her mother-in-law, "but this ceremony is not held at your home...".
The mother-in-law, wearing a suit and her head covered with a dupatta, replies: "Isn't it a tradition for every home to keep daughters happy?"
The film was pulled from Tanishq's YouTube channels earlier today.
The ad is for Tanishq's new collection, called "Ekatvam", which literally means "oneness".
"Each jewel from #EkatvamByTanishq, is meticulously crafted using art forms from across the country. Over 1000 Karigars have spent countless hours creating these jewels that are a captivating ode to the beauty of oneness. #TanishqWaliDiwali," a tweet on the official Twitter account read.