Zomato takes down controversial ad depicting Dalit character

2023-06-09 05:14:56  • 3 mins

An Indian online food delivery platform has withdrawn its advertisement on recycling waste after backlash over how it portrayed a Dalit character.

Dalits (formerly untouchables) are a historically disadvantage group in the country.

Zomato's advert for World Environment Day showed the character as items made of recycled waste.

The company took down the video, saying it had "unintentionally" hurt certain communities.

The ad featured actor Aditya Lakhia, who famously played a character called Kachra in the 2001 Bollywood film Lagaan (Land Tax).

Starring Aamir Khan, the film tells the story of peasants who challenge their British rulers to a game of cricket in order to escape a punitive tax. The film won an Oscar nomination, and was included in a list of the 25 best sports movies by Time magazine.

In the film, the character of Kachra - meaning garbage in Hindi - is shown to be disabled and shunned by fellow villagers until he is picked up to play for the team. He ends up playing a pivotal role in leading his team to a surprising victory.

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