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.”