Kolkata, October 15: Durga Puja is here and festivities have started in full swing. It is one of the biggest festivals in the Bengali calendar and is celebrated at a large scale not only in West Bengal, but across the world, where ever Bengalis reside in huge numbers. Durga Puja for us is not only a festival filled with rituals, but also stands for fun, frolic and food. Food forms an essential part of this festival. From mouth-watering street food, vegetarian dishes to sumptuous non-vegetarian items, we gorge on everything, without a single ounce of guilt because hey, Maa Durga is in town! What more reason do you need?  'Menstruating Durga' Image by Aniket Mitra Faces Netizens' Wrath, Artist Trolled With 'Anti-Hindu' Tag.

Brands over the years have found this as a great opportunity to connect with their audience, and have released topical ads. This weekend, there was an outrage on social media after Fortune Foods featured a video showing people consuming non-veg food during Durga Puja.

Watch the ad here:

The ad rubbed the group- Hindu Janjagriti Samiti the wrong way, who raised objection against the ad and stated that eating non-veg food during Navratri was prohibited. This created an immense backlash on social media, prompting the brand to apologise and withdraw the ad.

Brand's Apology

On Sunday, the brand issued a fresh statement saying, "Over 2 yrs we are celebrating the idea of #PetPujo with Bengali Foodies around the time of Durga Pujo. This year our video touched 1.5+M viewers in Bengal alone, and our Brand continues to receive oodles of love on Social Media. We respect food choices made by every community."

"And we will fervently guard against accidentally hurting people's sentiment. Our apology for one is not an insult for the other as will be witnessed from the comments that continue to pour in. Do read, watch and show some more love."

This didn't go down well with the Bengalis, including me, who feel that the ad shouldn't have been removed. The ad was specifically made keeping in mind Durga Puja and the food consumption that takes place during the festive time. It is very wrong to confuse Durga Puja with Navaratri, and create an unnecessary furore over a good creative piece.

However, thinking from the brand's point of view, we know how difficult it is today to churn out a good creative work. Their wings are clipped because of trolls who are eagerly waiting to attack the brand and create negative publicity. Do you remember artist Aniket Mitra whose powerful creative of a menstruating woman had to be removed after facing the wrath of netizens for his piece of art captioned "Shakti Rupen"? Or Javed Habib's ad showing Maa Durga visiting the parlour had to be removed a few years ago after it faced severe backlash on social media.

We understand it is about individual's religious sentiments, but if we start getting offended at the drop of a hat, are we not restricting the power of this beautiful advertising medium? An ardent request, why can we keep Maa Durga away from trolls and unnecessary controversies? She has come all the way from Kailash; let her have a peaceful stay at her parental house, please!

(The opinions expressed in the above article are of the author and do not reflect the stand or position of LatestLY.)

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 15, 2018 05:38 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).