Troubles mounted for global chocolate maker Cadbury in India after one of its television campaigns slighted several right wing organisations and influencers including PM Narendra Modi’s followers who objected to a look-alike of Gujarat strongman with a name Damodar in a promotional video released during Diwali.
Indian PM Narendra Damodardas Modi uses his father’s name as his own middle name.
Among the early attackers on Cadbury included a firebrand saffron-clad Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Sadhvi Prachi, known for her acerbic ripostes against Islamic fundamentalists, who readily accused the company of deliberately using the name to patronise the PM of India.
Have you carefully observed Cadbury chocolate’s advertisement on TV channels?
The shopless poor lamp seller is Damodar.
This is done to show someone with PM Narendra Modi’s father’s name in poor light. Chaiwale ka baap diyewala.
Shame on cadbury Company #BoycottCadbury pic.twitter.com/QvzbmOMcX2
— Dr. Prachi Sadhvi (@Sadhvi_prachi) October 30, 2022
“Chaiwale ke baap diyewala. (The father of a tea-seller is lamp-seller,” she said in a reference to Modi’s humble profession as a tea-seller during his childhood.
“Have you carefully observed Cadbury chocolate’s advertisement on TV channels? The shopless poor lamp seller is Damodar. This is done to show someone with PM Narendra Modi’s father’s name in poor light,” she went on Twitter.
Some Cadbury fans refused to accept Prachi’s interpretation of the Cadbury TVC and questioned her ‘insanity’.
Severan in social media, while reacting sharply to the TVC and Sadhvi’s comments, however dug out screenshots from Cadbury’s 2021 statement where the company had admitted to using gelatin derived from ‘beef’ — prohibited by the faithful Hindus in India — as an ingredient in some of its chocolate varieties in Australia and the UK.
The old screenshot by Cadbury, took its fans by storm again.
The 2021 admission, by the cocoa products manufacturer, said, “Please note, if any of our products contain gelatine in the ingredients, the gelatine we use is halal certified and derived from beef.”
After the Twitter storm intensified in 2021, Cadbury had clarified that its products sold in ‘Australia’ do contain ‘beef’ as an ingredient.
As a post-script, British multinational confectionery wrote: “The screenshot shared in the Tweet is not related to Mondelez products manufactured in India. All the products manufactured and sold in India are 100% vegetarian. The green dot on the wrapper signifies that”, replying to a user.
Soon after Sadhvi’s remarks, a #BoycottCadbury thread started trending, with tweeters calling for boycotts of Cadbury products.