Food delivery platform Zomato has received a notice from the National Commission for Scheduled Castes following backlash over their casteist ad campaign portraying a Dalit character from the movie Lagaan in most insensitive and derogatory way.
The advertisement, featuring actor Aditya Lakhia as ‘Kachra’ from the movie ‘Lagaan’, linked the character with the Hindi word for garbage and was aired on World Environment Day. Zomato has taken down the video, citing unintentional offense and issuing a sorryless apology.
The nearly two-minute ad showcased Aditya Lakhia depicted as a lamp, paper, paperweight, watering can, and various types of jackets, with accompanying text highlighting the amount of recycled ‘kachra’ used to create each item.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has taken note of the casteist ad and has launched an investigation into the matter. In addition, the commission has issued a notice to Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal, stating that if the company fails to respond within the stipulated time, it may result in summoning Goyal for a personal appearance.
The character ‘Kachra’ from the Dalit community in the film ‘Lagaan’ was depicted in the most dehumanised way, full of casteist setrotypes.