Actor Swara Bhasker has in recent days generated massive backlash for her Hinduphobic campaign in light of the Kathua rape case, where she like a few other actors was seen holding a placard highlighting an allegation of the rape taking place in a ‘devi’-sthaan temple (with the term devi written in single quotes). This was considered by many as a classic case of selective outrage, with such a stance not being replicated in case of worship places of other religions.
She later aggravated matters when she got into a spat with one of her critics, whom she described as a “rape apologist” while hurling slurs based on her political affiliation. This was considered by many as a bit rich coming from Bhasker, considering she herself had in the past glorified stalking, by calling it an ‘unapologetic celebration of crazy love’.
Many of her social media critics on Thursday received a rude shock after she appeared to have been signed up by Amazon India for one of their campaigns:
When I made the big move to a new city, all I wanted was a swanky music system, music being my passion! No matter how much I hunted for it, couldn’t find anything of my choice. In fact, I only got confused! #AjnabiShaharKiGoogly#ChonkpurCheetahs@amazonINhttps://t.co/dQcI3z3zww
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) April 19, 2018
This tweet of Bhasker lamenting about her failure to buy a decent music system was later featured by Amazon India in one of their campaign tweets thanking Bhasker for sharing her experience:
In the resulting outrage, social media users vehemently demanded that Bhasker be removed from the campaign while threatening a boycott of the brand, if their demands were not heeded to:
Hey @amazonIN, I am one of your Prime customer, with at least 5 purchases every month. I am shocked that your are using enemies of my civilisation like Swara for promotion. I will have to boycott you. pic.twitter.com/wG99EJFa0x
— हम भारत के लोग (@India_Policy) April 19, 2018
I didn’t know @amazonIN pays the likes of Swara Bhaskar.
When Amazon chooses to be represented by anti national elements, it’s agenda in India cannot be trusted.
— Thought Gun Bajrangi (@ShootinThoughts) April 19, 2018
— Shefali Vaidya (@ShefVaidya) April 19, 2018
Hi @amazonIN it will be very difficult for me to order something from you guys if u have a India hater Swara Bhaskar endorsing my Apni Dukaan… She hates India and it’s traditions …how can she endorse your Indian values
— अंकित जैन (@indiantweeter) April 19, 2018
The anger of Indian twitter users was so visible that #BoycottAmazon was one of the top trends in the country:
Such sustained pressure by Indians seems to have got to Amazon India who have now deleted their tweet featuring Swara Bhasker’s endorsement, with it no more being visible on their timeline. It though isn’t clear whether the e-commerce giant has chosen to end its association with Bhasker.
This might be a second successful instance of social media media users compelling big brands to review their celebrity endorsements. Earlier in 2016 Snapdeal had decided not to renew its endorsement contract with actor Aamir Khan, which was largely attributed to the negative publicity he brought in via his statement insinuating an “atmosphere of fear” since Modi came to power.