The chilling effect of intolerance — and its associated state-sponsored violence — is already visible in secular Maharashtra.
Storia Foods has taken down its viral ad after Congress workers vandalized its Mumbai office today. The ad, which had been uploaded on 21st April on YouTube, and had garnered 2,43,000 views by last night, is no longer available. Instead, users are told that the ad has been ‘made private’.
The ad had featured a man who runs to his mother exclaiming “Khatam?(It’s over?)” after she’s downed her Storia drink. He then reassures her, and tells her that will build a machine which will convert grass into milk. After his harried mother points out that such a machine already exists — in the form of the humble cow — the main character then wonders if cows are empowered or not.
Storia Foods is based in Mumbai, and the Congress is in power in the state in alliance with Shiv Sena and NCP. After the ad had gone viral on social media, Congress workers had vandalized the Storia office, and visuals showed broken glass and upturned furniture.
Congress leaders had even shared videos of the attack. Mumbai Congress President Bhai Jagtap had shared a clip in which Congress workers could be seen exiting the destroyed Storia office, and shouting “Sonia Gandhi Zindabad” and “Rahul Gandhi Zindabad”.
Storia’s ad campaign hadn’t only made fun of the politician in question. Another ad had featured a muscled character called Bhai, who is advised against driving by his assistant.
Yet another ad by the company featured a cricket captain named “Maahi” who refuses to retire.
Neither of these ads — both featuring celebrities with considerable fan followings — received any blowback, but the ad featuring the politician who keeps preaching about understanding and tolerance got the company’s office vandalized by goons. Which just goes to prove how liberalism has now become a convenient cover for authoritarian and state-sponsored violence in modern India.