Status of protest: Protest Successful
Link to denigrating advertisement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z4JJsj8wgM&feature=related
Last month, Forum for Hindu Awakening (FHA) received an email from a Hindu, complaining about an ad by Yatra.com, denigrating the Hindu Dharmik practice of showing dhoop after arati. The advertisement was seen here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z4JJsj8wgM&feature=related
Accordingly, a seeker (sadhak) Srinivas wrote to the Yatra Company regarding the advertisement. The Company has taken the educative protest into consideration and informed that they have taken down the arati ad as well as another similar ad surrounding the Hindu concept of bindi , and tendered an apology.
(“Let us pay gratitude to God for this success ! It is a reminder of how prompt, peaceful and educative protests against denigration of Dharma bring success in stopping the denigration. It also shows that there are some companies who are sensitive to Dharmik sentiments. A sensitive response to educative protests can go a long way in gaining the goodwill of the Hindu community.” – Editor.)
The correspondence between the seeker and the Yatra company is given below.
From: The Yatra.com Team
Subject: RE: Protest against Yatra Advertisment for Denigrating the Hindu culture
Date: Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 5:19 AM
We would first like to take this opportunity to thank you for your inputs in your email and communication to us raising your concerns regarding our television commercials in the US market.
Yatra.com is India’s leading online travel portal and an award winning globally recognized travel brand established in 2006. We have been voted as the Number 1 Trusted brand in travel and ecommerce in India by Brand Equity 2011. Additionally, we are firm believers in Corporate Social Responsibility and do our utmost by engaging with NGOs like Being Human and contributing for the betterment and improvement of the underprivileged in society.
It has therefore come as a surprise to us to see the concerns raised by you.
To address the concern we did a deep drill down on the facts which are as follows:
Our consumer research showed that young Indians settled in the US were forgetting their roots and customs. They did not feel and seem to not have a connect with “back home: India” and were completely Americanized in their values, thought process and social consciousness. The objective of the ad was to therefore apprise young Indians settled in America about our beliefs, values and rich Indian culture and what they are missing out by not coming home to India more often with their kids . Towards that end Yatra.com, therefore offers economical deals to its valuable customers in America to come home and explore more about Indian culture.
Through the 2 ads of “bindi” and “arti” – both so inherently traditional Indian concepts, we have tried to shake up Indians who are forgetting their roots. The attempt is positive in nature to remind them of their country. It is not meant to be disrespectful or hurtful in any way.
Yatra.com as a responsible Indian brand has a strong belief and respect for Indian culture. The plot depicted in the campaign is a creative dramatization of the current possible scenario that has developed in young Indians and to jolt them out of the reverie. By providing the cheapest tickets to India we aim to bridge the “social cultural ” gap created among Indians living abroad.
We understand your concern and have complete respect for your point-of-view. Our intention as an organization has never been or will ever be to hurt the sentiments of an individual/ Indian community settled abroad.
If, however, we have offended your sensitivities in any way, we sincerely apologize. Furthermore, given our roots and CSR philosophy we have withdrawn the two television commercials from airplay.
Looking forward to a positive closure of the matter.
Always striving to create Happy Travelers (and Indians)
The Yatra.com Team
Sent: 20 October 2012 09:42
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Srinivas.email@example.com
Subject: Protest against Yatra Advertisment for Denigrating the Hindu culture
Namaskar to Yatra team members,
I am very upset looking at the Yatra advertisement at
In this AD you have shown disrespect against Hindu’s faith and practices. The American girl asks what is your Mom doing? Daughter make comments against her Mother “My mom does this every morning just to check the fire alarms”. To let you know that in Hinduism we practice so many Dharamacharas, only because of our saints, who have practiced similar things before us and were benefited. They selflessly passed all of them to the humanity through scriptures. Vasstu Shastra gives many remedies to purify the home atmosphere. One of them is showing the dhoop(frankincense) around the house. The spiritual science behind it is, that it brings positive vibrations and the household members get relived from any harmful subtle distressing vibrations. You can read more about Vastushuddhi at
Yatra advertisement is sending a distorted message to all the viewers. This is nothing but denigration of Hinduism. It is hurting religious sentiments of Hindus. I kindly request you to make changes to it with a correct message or remove this advertisement immediately. Send apologies and make sure not to make such mistakes in the future.