Food delivery application Zomato has found itself in the middle of a controversy. The app released an advertisement, showing the character of ‘Kachra’ from the Oscar-nominated ‘Lagaan’. The treatment of the ‘dalit’ character in the ad has been termed as insensitive by the netizens. As a result of the backlash, the application has taken down the ad.
Usually, I'm a big fan of Zomato's marketing, mostly done in-house. But their new ad film, made for World Environment Day, made for an uncomfortable watch, at least for me – your mileage may vary.
I understand the intent: to use the 'Kachra' character from Lagaan for his name 1/5 pic.twitter.com/WmoYYS4grg
— Karthik 🇮🇳 (@beastoftraal) June 6, 2023
The ad aimed at promoting cleanliness and reducing food wastage featured several ads which showed unappetizing meals, with the tagline ‘Don’t waste food. Don’t be Kachra’.
The brand tried to draw parallels between the character and his name in the ad, which translates to ‘waste’. The ad which aimed to promote cleanliness was instead trending for the questionable politics in the same.
Casteist idea by Zomato to make an advertisement and humiliate a marginalised character “Kachra”. pic.twitter.com/nrXB2UF60R
— Harsh (@_ambedkarite) June 6, 2023
Retweet: This ad from @zomato is casteist & demeaning. Should be withdrawn immediately and an apology issued. Ashutosh Gowarikar made an error in the naming of a Dalit character as 'Kachra'. Further mockery is unacceptable. @deepigoyal @NCSC_GoI @thevijaysampla #BoycottZomato pic.twitter.com/R72oGlRsEu
— Dilip Mandal (@Profdilipmandal) June 8, 2023
The kachra ad is not a mistake. It is intentional. It is likely greenlit by top management.
Zomato are casteist pricks. Do NOT buy their fake apology if they ever issue one. https://t.co/plQXE9pQs5
— peeleraja (@peeleraja) June 7, 2023
Several users called out the company for the ad campaign. They refused to believe it was a mistake but claimed it to be a deliberate attempt by the company which was headed by ‘casteist individuals’.