Politics and business often come together. To lobby for certain laws, get exceptions, SEZs and the likes. Trouble starts when the personal views of celebrities affect the credibility of a brand associated with them.
Following in the wake of superstar Shahrukh Khan who had stirred the hornet’s nest recently by calling India “Intolerant” and incurring the wrath of the liberals and BJP supporters in the country, Aamir Khan is now the latest motormouth to add to the furore. In an interview yesterday, Amir Khan said he has been “alarmed” by a number of (intolerance) incidents, and that his wife Kiran Rao even suggested that they should probably leave the country.
“As an individual, as part of this country as a citizen, we read in the papers what is happening, we see it on the news and certainly, I have been alarmed. I can’t deny. I have been alarmed by a number of incidents,”, Khan said while speaking at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards.
This was not taken well by the Junta, and an anti-Aamir campaign for his “anti national” remarks, was duly launched on social media. There was a volley of personal attacks on the superstar, who’s hardly shied away from airing his opinions and alleging support to various causes. However, one of the most bizarre side-effects of his remarks was that Aamir Khan, who happens to be the brand ambassador of ecommerce biggie Snapdeal – and one of the very select few endorsements he’s a part of – has caused the outrage to spill over to the brand. Angry customers are now panning the Snapdeal app for being associated with the star and are demanding that the star be immediately removed as a Brand Ambassador or the users would “boycott Snapdeal”. The Snapdeal app is being bombarded with one-star ratings and anti-Aamir comments.
Other than the reviews on the Playstore, the outrage has also come out in tweets.
Aamir was signed on as the Snapdeal brand ambassador at a whopping amount of Rs. 15-20 crores in May this year, and he was last seen performing the brand ambassador duty in a Diwali ad for TVC.
While Snapdeal has resisted commenting on the issue, the irony that this event proves that India is intolerant, is probably lost on the protestors.