Food delivery company Zomato has issued a clarification amid the controversy over a Hrithik Roshan-starrer advertisement and said that they will be withdrawing the ad. Soon, Hrithik Roshan’s controversial Mahakal Thali ad’ that faced backlash was taken down by the food delivery app.
Issuing clarification and an apology for hurting religious sentiments, the company in its statement stated, “We offer our sincerest apologies, for the intent here was never to hurt anyone’s beliefs and sentiments.”
Hey, we have something to share - pic.twitter.com/gmPgiGYwGp— zomato care (@zomatocare) August 21, 2022
The controversy brewed when the Ujjain priests from the Mahakaleshwar temple objected to the online food delivery firm’s advertisement featuring Hrithik.
In the ad commercial, the Vikram Vedha actor says that he felt like having a “thali” (food platter) in Ujjain so he ordered it from “Mahakal”. For the unversed, Mahakal is also another name for Lord Shiva and coincidentally it also happens to be the name of a restaurant that is a delivery partner of Zomato at Ujjain.
Earlier, Mahakaleshwar priests claimed that the ad offended Hindu sentiments and demanded its withdrawal by the food aggregator. Reportedly, the priests had even approached Ujjain Collector Ashish Singh, who is the chairman of the Mahakal temple trust, and sought action against the company.
In its statement, the company said that the ad “referenced ‘thalis’ at ‘Mahakal Restaurant’, and not the revered Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple.”
Previously, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra had directed the police to investigate the matter and was reportedly quoted as, “Prima facie, the advertisement video being circulated on social media seems morphed. I have told Ujjain’s Superintendent of Police to look into the reality of the video and report to me so that action can be initiated against the guilty.”
The Mahakaleshwar temple at Ujjain is considered one of the most sacred temples since it is among the 12 Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva.
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