Home Opinions Why the so-called liberals forced Paytm to take off an ad

Why the so-called liberals forced Paytm to take off an ad

In India, more than being a liberal – where you are willing to accommodate dissenting voices – it is important to appear a liberal – where you shout every hour that you’re liberal and thus drown out the dissenting voices.

This shouting is a form of virtue signalling that helps people with otherwise sad credentials to aspire for respectability in a particular social circle.

And a lot of so-called liberals indulged in collective shouting yesterday after mobile wallet brand Paytm released an ad that hurt their guilty conscience.

- Ad - - article resumes -

The ad showed a woman from upper middle class talking about how demonetisation stopped her from paying money to her maid, as she didn’t have ready cash. The character was going on and on with her rant when the maid interrupted her and asked her to stop making excuses and transfer money to her via Paytm. The upper middle class woman in the ad was shocked at this awareness and technology adoption by her maid. And that was the end of the ad, telling people to use Paytm if cash was not available.

The ad upset some “liberals” so much that they uninstalled Paytm from their smartphones and tagged its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma on Twitter, threatening that all of them will uninstall the application and thus hurt his business.

Many of these outraged shouting virtue signalling liberals were from the media industry that has the power to hurt a brand’s image through biased reporting. Perhaps that led to Vijay Shekhar Sharma apologising and Paytm deleting the ad from its Twitter page.

Paytm founder apologises
Paytm founder forced to apologise. Threat was dressed up as “feedback”.

While economic boycott is a different matter, what is crucial here is to notice how the ad pricked the guilty conscience of the so-called liberals, who grouped up to launch a mob attack. But just as their threat was dressed up as “feedback”, their angst at being exposed was dressed up as “compassion”.

Some of them claimed that the ad was patronising towards the maid. Really? Fact is that the ad showed a confident maid shutting her patronising employer up. Others said it mocked situation of people who were facing inconvenience due to demonetisation. No. It mocked those who were using the excuse of inconvenience to be lazy in general and unfair to maids in particular, so far as the ad’s copy was concerned.

The truth is that the ad touched them where it hurts the most. Where a privileged class person arrogates the right to speak for the underprivileged class under the garb of activism. Where this class assumes that maids must be poor enough not to have a smartphone (even though some really cheap ones are available) and stupid enough not to know how to use apps (though maid’s husbands can be Uber drivers using an advanced app? A hint of sexism there? Poor women can’t use apps?).

When a maid decides to speak for herself and comes up with a view that is not aligned with the ‘liberal’ stand, this privileged class is taken aback and is forced to shut up. This makes them angry. And this is what made them shout, uninstall the app, and tag the Paytm founder with their threats.

The bunch that shouts ‘rising intolerance’ and ‘free speech’ on every possible occasion, successfully arm twisted a brand to take off their ad.

But as it happens on Twitter, every shouting is met with counter shouting. People asked Paytm if they will wind up their business if enough shouting virtue signalling liberals told them that their business was a scam? No argument, no logic required?

Finally good sense prevailed and Paytm brought back the ad with a minor modification; where the maid is being a bit more respectful to her employer by not terming her excuses as “drama”. Ah, that was another thing that hurt the guilty conscience of virtue signalling liberals. The drama by the elitist snobs of being considerate towards the unwashed masses.


This is not for the first time when the so-called liberal crowd has forced brands to take off ads in the last couple of years, all while shouting that they were facing intolerance under the new regime. Earlier Pepsi was forced to delay release of its ad as some so-called liberals claimed it mocked FTII and JNU students. Havells was forced to take off an ad as people who can’t see beyond caste termed it casteist. And Yatra.com was attacked for an ad that had a character similar to JNU lout Kanhaiya Kumar.

So much for creativity, free speech, tolerance, accommodation, and liberalism.

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Big Story

As Barkha had predicted, the Sibals also blamed the newly-elected Narendra Modi government for the advertisers to back off. Lack of advertising revenues led to deepening of their financial troubles, they claim. 

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

Proud to be a brand - Made in India?
Now, Advertise on Opindia

Interview: Former RAW officer makes further shocking revelations about Hamid Ansari after alleging that he endangered lives of RAW officers in Iran

In this exclusive interview, Former RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) officer NK Sood makes further revelations about his time in Iran, Hamid Ansari and the vilified scientist Nambi Narayanan

Kapil Sibal claims Barkha Dutt was sacked before her tweets, won’t be paid anymore, Barkha says Sibal is lying

As Barkha had predicted, the Sibals also blamed the newly-elected Narendra Modi government for the advertisers to back off. Lack of advertising revenues led to deepening of their financial troubles, they claim. 
Tiranga TV boots its employees: Here is why they don't deserve any sympathy

I am a journalist and here is why I have absolutely no sympathy for the ones who joined Tiranga TV

News emerged last night that bouncers had been sent to the offices of Tiranga TV as the employees were holding a silent protest in the premises.

Prime Minister Modi, Hindus are under siege, and now is the right time to speak up

PM Modi will still win elections due to sheer inertia and the pathetic state of the country's opposition but the faith that he commands will take a hit and even if it's among a small section of the support base, it would be a travesty
Supreme court judgements - regional languages

Here are 7 bizarre judgments by the Indian Judiciary that highlight the need for urgent reforms

It's not the first time that the rather bizarre tendencies of the Indian Judiciary have been on display. In this article, we revisit some of them.

Conversion at Karnataka High Court? Islamic proselytising organisation distributed Quran among judges and advocates

Salaam Centre engages in 'Dawah' or the Islamic practice of converting non-Muslims to Muslim.
Image Source: Newstate

Campaign to raise funds for Richa Bharti, who was ordered to distribute Quran by Ranchi court, surpasses target within hours

A 19-year old college student, Richa Bharti was ordered to distribute 5 copies of Quran as a condition of bail by the Ranchi court

Aspiring model Khushi Parihar murdered over ‘friendship with other men’, live-in partner Ashraf Sheikh arrested

Aspiring model Khushi Parihar was found murdered with her head and face smashed on Saturday morning at Chatarpur farms, around 50 KMs away from the Nagpur city, her live-in partner Ashraf Sheikh has been arrested

Jharkhand: Hindu organisations allege bias as girl is arrested for Facebook post on Tabrez Ansari death based on FIR by Islamia committee

Acting on a complaint by the Anjuman Islamia Committee in Pithoria district, Ranchi, over a Facebook post on the Tabrez Ansari death, the Jharkhand police have today arrested a girl named Richa Bharti.
Kapil Sibal backed Tiranga TV senior producer accused of sexual harassment

Tiranga TV in yet another controversy: Girl accuses senior producer of sexual harassment, makes lewd chats public

A girl has accused the senior producer of Kapil Sibal backed Tiranga TV of sexual harassment. Himanshi Gupta took to Twitter to make lewd WhatsApp chats public.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

173,547FansLike
158,572FollowersFollow
74,790SubscribersSubscribe
Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post