Need To Respect Human Rights
In August last year, Intel, the
computer chip maker, rightly withdrew an international advertisement,
which was criticised as racist. The ad, which was for a new generation
of microprocessors, showed six black sprinters crouched in the start
position in front of a white man in an office, wearing a shirt and chinos.
Above the image was a slogan, which read: "Multiply computer performance
and maximise the power of your employees. Blogs resented the racial
undertone in the ad and Intel withdrew it.
Back home this year, a TV advertisement concerning Happydent teeth whitening
gum represented the worst case of human rights violation; the advertisement
is still being run. May be it is a call to act. The ad, shot in Rajasthan's
princely environment, depicts an illuminated city the lights of which
are energised not by electrical power but by human resource. By the
way, if the advisement tells the truth, those with sparkling white teeth
only have to smile to light up our houses. In the process, energy will
be saved. The ad displayed the worst form of human exploitation. The
80-second ad with 'Muskura le, jagmaga le' begins with a man in a dhoti
and turban cycling furiously. The front tyre is washed away by the river
and he tries to hitchhike his way home. A car with two 'human headlamps'
passes him by. At the palace grounds, he notices lampposts from which
men hang instead of the bulbs. Inside the palace, too, the men have
replaced the bulbs. The man reaches the balcony from where he latches
onto a chandelier. The chandelier is already laden with other men. Right
under the chandelier is the dining table and the 'king' is ready to
begin his meal. Our man pops a piece of gum into his mouth and smiles;
the number "tera dil roshan, tera man roshan" erupts and all
the (human) "bulbs" in the ad are alight!
This advertisement may intend to promote an oral dental chewing gum
but it also amounts to human rights violation. It eulogises the 'zamindari'
system, which exploited the human beings and should be condemned. It
promotes discrimination and exploitation. I am not sure what the ad
maker wanted to convey through this advertisement but the issue is what
it ends up promoting, either inadvertently or intentionally; and what
message we are trying to pass on to our young ones about our history.
May be this ad is 'out of the box' from the advertising world's perspective
but it promotes human rights violation - something which we should be
wary of and resent. Companies too have to shoulder social responsibility
and they should not promote exploitation of human beings like this.
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