Patanjali founder Ramdev has found himself in another controversy because of a misleading ad attempting to sell beauty products made by his company.
In a newspaper ad published in Deccan Chronicle on 17 December, Patanjali sought to sell its beauty creams to heal various ailments related to skin including wrinkles and dark complexion. Yes, dark complexion too was described as a skin ailment.
The ad description said, “Beauty Cream possesses the benefits of wheat germ oil, turmeric, aloe-vera, and basil etc. which are extremely beneficial for skin ailments like dry skin, dark complexion and wrinkles. Patanjali beauty cream is not just another cream but is a skin nourishment tonic and treatment. It gives you the confidence of 100% natural beauty. Try it yourself and suggest to your family and friends.”
As expected, the ad caused outrage on social media with users quick to slam the Patanjali founder. User Karthik wrote;
For a brand that almost always starts its advertising by bad-mouthing ‘those MNC companies’ as looters and calls itself as ‘100% purity and 100% charity’ (the tactic sure seems to be working for them given their spectacular success in the recent past), Patanjali seems to be
— Karthik (@beastoftraal) January 8, 2018
In his previous tweet, the Karthik also took a potshot at Ramdev asking if the ad was designed by BJP’s Tarun Vijay, who had famously claimed on Aljazeera TV that India was a racially tolerant country because it had dark-skinned south Indian population too.
He wrote, “No Baba Ramdev… ‘dark complexion’ is NOT a skin ailment. Did Tarun Vijay write your ad?”
Faced with outrage and condemnation, Ramdev took to Twitter to issue a clarification but ended up heaping more embarrassment on himself. Whilst he clarified that the use of ‘ailment’ was the outcome of poor translation, Ramdev said that the dark skin was a skin complication nonetheless.
His tweet said, “We approved the word – ‘Skin Complications’ (त्वचा के विकार), which by error, got changed in translation/copy-writing. I always talked about maintaining natural beauty and never supported color discrimination.”
This clarification simply shows just how regressive baba’s thoughts are and to what extent he can go to sell his products.