Bollywood actor Aamir Khan has been “asked” to refrain from appearing in commercials that “hurt religious emotions” by an Indian state minister.
The state of Madhya Pradesh’s home minister, Narottam Mishra, made the remark as a recent advertisement featuring Khan stirred uproar among right-wing Hindus.
Khan and starlet Kiara Advani are shown partaking in Hindu wedding ceremonies in the bank advertisement as newlyweds.
However, many claimed the advertisement offended Hindu customs and culture.
The most recent advertisement, for a financial services company, features Khan’s character taking the traditional Hindu bride ritual’s first step inside her home after marriage.
Some praised the advertisement’s “brilliant” subversion of gender expectations.
The minister, Mr. Mishra, claimed that he saw the advertisement as a result of a complaint. He told reporters, “I request him (Khan) to refrain from doing such commercials by keeping Indian traditions and customs in mind.
Khan has already been charged with “hurting” Hindu feelings. His most recent movie, Laal Singh Chaddha, was the target of an internet boycott after right-wing trolls and commenters dug up a 2015 statement the actor made in which he voiced concern about the rise of religious intolerance in the nation.
Following a backlash at the time, the e-commerce site Snapdeal fired Khan as its brand ambassador. Since then, Khan has frequently clarified the statement and declared in the open that he adores India.
The actor came under fire in 2021 after appearing in a tyre commercial in which he urged viewers to forgo setting off fireworks in public during the Hindu festival of Diwali.
The minister threatened to sue the producers of the upcoming mythical movie Adipurush earlier this month if they did not get rid of the scenes that featured the Hindu deity Hanuman donning “leather garments.”
Khan’s advertisement is the most recent to draw criticism from right-wing Hindus online.
Actress Alia Bhatt received backlash in 2021 for appearing in an advertisement that questioned the custom of kanyadaan (giving the bride away) at Hindu weddings. A year prior, Tanishq, a jewellery company, removed an advertisement portraying an interfaith couple in response to online criticism.