Bollywood action hero Akshay Kumar and Indian washing powder company Nirma are being lambasted on social media for insulting Maratha culture and Maratha warriors.
A police complaint has also reportedly been registered against Kumar in Mumbai for allegedly defaming Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in an advertisement.
The complainant, named Suryakant Jaggannath Jadhav, has urged the police to take action against the Bollywood star and company for hurting the sentiments of the people of Maharashtra.
The ad in question shows Kumar as a Maratha king, who can be seen dancing and washing his soiled clothes after coming home from a war.
The ad seems to have hurt the sentiments of India’s Marathi-speaking people from western Maharashtra state who revere the warrior for waging war against the Mughals and expanding the reins of the Maratha Empire in the western Deccan Plateau, which was largely dominated by Mughals.
Netizens have called for a boycott of the washing powder “Nirma” and slammed Kumar for portraying the Maratha warrior in a “comic and cheap way”. Some also demanded the advertisement's withdrawal from all media platforms and a public apology.
#BoycottNirma— Aditya Shastri (@shastria) January 8, 2020
The dialogues, music, acting everything in this Nirma ad is contrary to the actual culture of Marathas and so this ad seems to be purposely mocking great Maratha culture that has served to save this country from foreign attacks.
Hence boycotting Nirma.. pic.twitter.com/iDZY0FR9E0
I will #BoycottNirma products after watching this disgusting Ad— Nikhil Patrikar (@jagruthindu) January 8, 2020
Nirma Ltd and Akshay Kumar should apologise for mocking Marathi Warrirors.@ratihegde @Gubyad_Snehal @kanimozhi @mi_puneri pic.twitter.com/n6nE3hx2sy
Marathas once ruled this country and protected this country against invaders !— Aravinda Baliga (@baliga_2012) January 8, 2020
Showing them in a comic way is an insult of Maratha Culture and Maratha Warriors !#BoycottNirma pic.twitter.com/rpAjbx9gb7
Earlier, the Deepika Padukone film Padmavati became embroiled in a major controversy after several organisations of Rajputh castes including Shri Rajput Karni Sena held protests and vandalised film sets, forcing the makers to delete a certain scene and change the name of the film from "Padmavati" to "Padmavat".