Protest against use of Mahatma Gandhi’s image in advertisement

March 26, 2007

Durban: The use of Mahatma Gandhi’s image for promotion of a credit card has triggered protests in South Africa.

The row revolves around the use of images of Gandhiji and other leaders in promoting a credit card of British Virgin group, owned by Richard Branson. The advertisement shows Gandhiji speaking for the card.

Many organisations, including the Phoenix Settlement Trust and the South Africa Hindu Maha Sabha, have said the advertisement was an insult to Gandhiji and what he stood for.

Rugbeer Kallideen, chairman of the Phoenix Settlement Trust, said: “Gandhiji did not stand for the promotion of business interests. He was a simple man, and money matters were not part of his criteria. He left all his assets behind when he left the country. He was not a commercial man, but a well-respected politician and spiritualist.”

Hindu Dharma Sabha president Ram Maharaj said, “Gandhiji advocated that people should move away from materialism and lead a simple and spiritual life in the service of humanity. What is portrayed is misleading and is contrary to his teachings. It is a misrepresentation of what he stood for.”

But Ahmed Tilly, creative director of the advertising agency behind the advertisement, said: “Gandhiji was used as a political figure.”


Also see:
Using Mahatma Gandhi to sell mobile phones
Maxim(um) Mis-step: Taking a Jab at Gandhi
Gandhi in Apple ad
Gandhi in Telecom Italia ad
Gandhi: An apostle of violence?

6 Responses to “Protest against use of Mahatma Gandhi’s image in advertisement”

  1. pArijAta Says:

    Ugh !

    Does anybody ever say “Enough, now” to these guys? I see nothing wrong in printing Gandhi’s photo on a credit card..

    Can these self-styled protectors of Hindu dharma live without credit cards? These people cry themselves hoarse at inconsequential things, and will have no voice left when there are some real issues.

    Probably Gandhi’s image on one’s credit card will make people spend less 😉 You know, spiritual and simple living and all that 😉

  2. Mysorean Says:

    Somteimes the line between all these things is blurred. Advertisers make use of the vagueness.

    Maybe it was wrong to have used Gandhiji speaking for the card. But calling it an insult and all that is going a bit overboard. I am sure a request to the advertisers will help them remove the controversial images. But nowadays, the trend is that let’s create controversy and hence achieve automatic coverage. Now, we don’t know which category this one falls under!

  3. greatunknown Says:

    I knew of the Apple ad, but not the other attempts to poke fun at the Mahatma in the public realm. If ever there was a man who offered himself up for public scrutiny, it was Gandhiji.

    To lampoon a great soul like him speaks of a degeneration of values, no wonder Westerners come from fragmented (demented) backgrounds.

    Some folks have taken it one step further, for example a few months ago an idiot gyrated vulgarly against a pole, pretending to be Gandhi… remember?

    All these acts shout out the decadence of the human soul.
    Good post rk!

  4. Arun Says:

    The Congress (I) should stop using his picture in their banners. Does this political party has any connection with what Gandhi stood for?

  5. greatunknown Says:

    Obviously not Arun, as with so many other things the Congress associates itself with! They seem to assume a holier-than-thou role when it comes to associating themselves with anything and anyone they contend could be potential crowd pullers.

  6. Indian Says:

    None of the political parties have any moral right to use or invoke Mahatma Gandhi in any manner whatsoever. The way they have conducted themselves during all these years clearly shows the regard they have for Gandhian values. Most of all, no party has any proprietorship rights about Gandhi. Gandhian values are still valued by the common man and all governments, without any exceptions, are guilty of neglecting both equally. Unfortunately ours is a country where the name of Gandhi gets carried without regard to who actually bears the name.

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