Kolkata Lawyer files petition
The petition has been filed by Dibyayan Banerji, an advocate of the Calcutta High Court. As per the complaint, the main advertisement by the beverage giant was in Hindi and the petitioner has no problems with that. However, the Bengali dubbing of the ad which was running on several TV channels and websites didn’t go well with many Bengalis.
The ad allegedly hurt Bengali sentiments
In the video, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui can be seen laughing at one of the jokes, which say in Bengali, ‘shoja anguley ghee na uthley, Bangali khali petey ghumiye porey’. In English, it means that Bengalis sleep hungry if they don’t get anything easily. This portion of the dialogue has sparked controversy as the complaint states that it allegedly hurts Bengali sentiments.
For the unversed, the ad is based on the popular Bengali idiom which says: “Shoja anguley ghee na uthley, angul bekatey hoy”. It means that if you can’t achieve something simply, you have to go beyond to achieve it.
What the lawyer says?
Dibyayan Banerji has said that he has no problem with the Hindi advertisement since there’s nothing offensive. But the Bengali version attracts section 66A of the IT Act and also section 153 A of the Indian Penal Code. He also claimed this type of shallow act and gimmicks should not be promoted in the future.
Beverage giant responds
After the police complaint and massive protest, the advertisement had to be pulled from TV and social media platforms. On Twitter, the beverage giant wrote in Bengali, “We deeply regret our recent Bengali ad campaign for Sprite and are withdrawing this unintentional mistake from the Bengali media immediately. Our company gives due respect to the Bengali language and takes pride in platforms like Coke Studio Bangla, which attaches great importance to the respect and prestige of our Bengal. We are committed to preserving respect and the heritage of the state through our service, new investments, CSR, and social consciousness.”