Actor Bijay Anand, who plays the role of Alia Bhatt’s father in the recent advertisement for bridal wear, has supported the actor as the campaign courted controversy.
In this bridal wear advert, Alia questions the tradition of ‘kanyadaan’, asking if she is something to ‘be given away’.
This particular advert has sparked a conversation online with many welcoming its fresh take on rituals and traditions while others claiming it demeans them. Bijay has now questioned why Alia is being targeted for the ad. “As actors, we trust the direction, writing, and production departments to do the right thing and not get us into controversy. I am not an expert on the subject, so, they have to keep in mind the appropriateness and correctness of the subject. Also, everyone has their own interpretation of things. There are hundreds of scholars who have their own take on every topic. If we are so smart, then we should have been scientists,” he told Bombay Times.
He also spoke about looking at the ad in right perspective. “Why don’t you look at the fact that she is saying ‘kanya ka maan karo’. Again, it is your choice; I’m not blaming anyone for it, but we need to remember that hatred will only give rise to more hatred. In the larger picture, when you make a big deal about small things, it just escalates into something else. She is a young girl and is saying something that the director has told her to, but you are just going to go ahead and troll her. I feel that we actors are the softest targets, especially girls. At the end of the day, hatred spreads hatred, and love spreads love”.
In the advertisement directed by Abhishek Varman, Alia, while sitting at the mandap with the bridegroom, mentions each member of her family – grandmother, father and mother – and how much they love her. However, she objects to being treated as the ‘other’ and a temporary part of the family, despite everyone loving her so much. “Am I a thing to be donated? Why only kanyadaan?” she asks in an internal monologue. She is pleasantly surprised when her mother-in-law and father-in-law give their son away as well. Everyone smiles, and the couple gets married.
While many have hailed the questioning of the archaic traditions, it also didn’t go well with one section of social media. Actor Kangana Ranaut wrote a lengthy post saying that women are worshipped in the scriptures and there’s no harm in seeing them as ‘precious source of existence’.
In the caption of her post, Kangana wrote, “Humble request to all brands … don’t use religion, minority, majority politics to sell things … Stop manipulating naive consumer with shrewd divisive concepts and advertising…”
On the work front Alia has been a part of this bridal wear brand, and has shot an advertisement before. She is now busy shooting for Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani with Ranveer Singh. She has RRR and Brahmastra with Ranbir Kapoor in the pipeline. She will soon start shooting for Farhan Akhtar’s Jee Le Zaraa with Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif.