Hrithik Roshan’s advertisement for online food delivery app Zomato sparked a religious controversy. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has accused Hrithik and Zomato for “misleading and cheating the people” through their commercial.
Two priests of Mahakaleshwar or Mahakal temple in Ujjain had on Saturday demanded that Zomato withdraw the advertisement, claiming that it offends Hindu sentiments, to which State Home Minister Narottam Mishra said he has directed police to look into the matter.
Prima facie, the advertisement video being circulated on social media seems morphed, Mr. Mishra said in Bhopal on Sunday. A letter to Madhya Pradesh’s Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan was sent by the confederation demanding action against the actor and the app as well.
The commercial is also alleged to have hurt religious beliefs of the people. In the commercial, Hrithik can be seen saying that he felt like having a ‘thali’ in Ujjain and so he ordered it from Mahakal. CAIT said in a statement, “The Prasad Thali of Mahakal is served free for centuries but within a specified place at the temple premises only. There is no question of giving Prasad Thali to anyone outside the temple.”
Now, the food delivery company Zomato had apologised and also clarified what they meant by Mahakal in the commercial. The firm also informed that the ad has now been taken down.
The statement read, “The Hrithik Roshan-starrer ad that ran in specific pin codes of Ujjain referenced ‘thalis’ at ‘Mahakal Restaurant’, and not the revered Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple. Mahakal Restaurant is one of our high-order-volume restaurant partners in Ujjain, and thali is a recommended item on its menu.
The video is part of a pan-India campaign for which we identified top local restaurants and their top dishes based on popularity in each city. Mahakal Restaurant (simplified as ‘Mahakal’) was one of the restaurants chosen for the campaign in Ujjain.
We deeply respect the sentiments of the people of Ujjain, and the ad in question is no longer running. We offer our sincerest apologies, for the intent here was never to hurt anyone’s beliefs and sentiments.”
Meanwhile, on the work front, Hrithik Roshan would next be shown in ‘Vikram Vedha’ remake with co-star Saif Ali Khan, and in ‘Fighter’ with Deepika Padukone.