Two Mahakal priests Mahesh and Ashish from Ujjain on Saturday demanded that the online food delivery firm Zomato should withdraw their latest advertisement featuring Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan. The call to remove the ad is being made as they allege it offends Hindu sentiments and is ‘offensive’. In the new advertisement titled ‘Mann kiya, Zomato kiya’, Hrithik Roshan says he felt like having a thali (full course platter) in Ujjain so he placed an order from “Mahakal”. “Thali ka mann kia, Ujjain mein hai, toh Mahakal se manga Lia (Felt like having a Thali. We’re in Ujjain, so ordered from Mahakal,” the actor said in the ad.
“A company which delivers non-veg food should immediately withdraw the misleading ad referring Mahakal thali,” priest Mahesh said as per Hindi news daily Dainik Bhaskar. He also demanded an apology from the food delivery firm or they have face legal action. As per the priests, it was misleading and hurts Hindu sentiments.
In response to a tweet, Zomato clarified, “Mahakal Restaurant is one of our high-order-volume restaurant partners in Ujjain, and thali is a recommended item on its menu‘ thalis’ at ‘Mahakal Restaurant’, and not the revered Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple. The video is part of a pan-India campaign for which we identified top local restaurants and their top dishes based on popularity in each city. Mahakal Restaurant (simplified as ‘Mahakal’) was one of the restaurants chosen for the campaign in Ujjain.”
Their tweets further read, “We deeply respect the sentiments of the people of Ujjain, and the ad in question is no longer running. We offer our sincerest apologies, for the intent here was never to hurt anyone’s beliefs and sentiments.