Porn star turned Bollywood actress Sunny Leone is causing a stir yet again. Leone is featured in a Navratri themed condom ad for Manforce. The billboard, displayed in Surat, Gujarat, loosely translates into playing dandiya with “love,” love cheekily meaning sex. Hindus have expressed anger over having such an openly sexualized advertisement on unabashed display during this holy Navratri period.
— Sam (@secular_x) September 18, 2017
— Adhir Amdavadi (@adhirasy) September 21, 2017
— Riya महादेवभक्त ❤ (@riyathedevotee) September 19, 2017
— Tapan Lakdawala (@tapklak) September 18, 2017
Statistics show condom sales increase during Navratri and abortions increase after Navratri. Manforce is smartly cashing in on the festival.
Not everyone thinks this is a smart move. Praveen Khandelwal, the national secretary general of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) sent an official letter to the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Ram Vilas Paswan, to have the billboard removed. On behalf of CAIT, Khandelwal calls the ad “a clear irresponsible and immature attempt to boost sales by putting all our cultural value system at stake.”
He calls out Leone, stating that in her lust for making money she is willing to go to “any level irrespective of the pious and religious occasion of Navratri.” He encouraged the government to pass the Consumer Protection Bill so that celebrities can be held responsible for the products they’re endorsing.
Manforce has released a statement via Twitter to respectfully apologize to all offended by the billboards.
Navratra Hoardings Campaign was not meant to hurt anyone’s sentiments & was immediately withdrawn.
We deeply regret any such incident.
— Manforce Condoms (@ManforceIndia) September 20, 2017
There were many people who thought the anger was completely unnecessary. The company is endorsing safe sex and these followers felt that this was an overreaction to the billboard.
Don’t apologize for endorsing safe sex, this is one of the reasons for #India‘s overpopulation.
— M (@ManishaP) September 21, 2017
If Sunny Leone’s Manforce (condom) hoarding ad could minimise the teen-age pregnancies,why can’t the advertisement be allowed 2 B displayed? pic.twitter.com/OdXRrPKOuV
— Ravikumar Stephen J (@First_Dawn) September 21, 2017
Nothing new..India over-reacts to a #manforce advert..get a life guys, it’s not like you don’t have sex during Navratri
— AI (@a_iyer) September 21, 2017
— Akash Banerjee (@akashbanerjee) September 19, 2017
There’s drama on both sides but the real shoutout is to the internet lurkers who asked the real question. What’s with the name Manforce?
TIL: there is an Indian condom company named Manforce (@ManforceIndia). Np, I get that Manasksconsentandisalwayscool isn’t quite as catchy.
— Cyrus Farivar (@cfarivar) September 21, 2017
Soooo no one over at ‘Manforce’ condoms thought that this name would be misunderstood?!
Just checking 🤷🏻♀️
— Punya Arora (@clickmadness) September 21, 2017
— Top Lawyers Canada (@TopLawyersCDN) September 21, 2017