Flipkart has apologized to the Gorkha community for harming their assessments in its as of late advertisement for Flipkart Assured.
The company made a conciliatory sentiment on its official online blog. This came after the individuals from the Gorkha comunity recorded a request against the organization in Delhi court to quit airing the TV advertisement. Additionally, Flipkart was blamed for not reacting to their pleas initially.
The post read,
We are aware that we may have unintentionally hurt the sentiments of our Gorkha brothers and sisters through the depiction of one of the characters in the advertisement, namely the security guard.
The rage is not unnatural, because over the years, Bollywood has assembled the Gurkhas as “watchmen” in its various projects. Flipkart just reignited an old flame.
The advertisement, which has now been removed and updated, showed two kids characterized as watchmen, wherein one wore the traditional “Bhadgauley Topi” , an honourable hat worn by Gurkhalis. The character is also shown using the khukuri insignia, and seen mimicking a garish accent to signify the Gurkhas. All of this led to the angst of the Gorkha community.
The blog furthermore added,
Over the last week we have diligently pored over every comment and post on social and offline channels and discussed the issue with our customers to understand their concerns in depth. While most agreed to the freedom of creative expression and choice of characters, we discovered that the primary angst arose from the use of the Khukuri insignia (a respected and cherished symbol of pride and valor), and the tone of voice used by the character.
The blog seemed to have been full of praises for the Gurkhalis, as a means of apologising.
“We’re proud of and grateful to the Gorkha community. They symbolize valor, reliability, integrity and loyalty. Many members of the Gorkha community continue to represent our nation in the highest echelons of their chosen fields – be it administration, sports, defense, academics, entertainment, etc. Some of them have also chosen this profession of a security guard.
A security guard is someone we trust with our life. Every day. We trust our security guards to let the right people into our homes. We trust them with our children’s safety when they’re outdoors. We trust them to ensure that we sleep safe every night. The campaign drew from these codes of assurance to drive the key proposition of Flipkart Assured. It is with this intent that the character which the child portrayed was chosen to play the part.”
Flipkart has officially released an updated version of the ad without the depictions of the khukuri and the accent.