Nitin Gadkari Shared Car Safety Ad Clip, Oppn Alleges Union Govt Promoting Dowry

Screengrab from video tweeted by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari ( @nitin_gadkari ) - Sakshi Post

New Delhi: A public service advertisement on road safety featuring Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar has come in for criticism as many alleged the advertisement was promoting the practice of dowry. 

The public service advertisement (PSA) comes in the wake of death of former Tata Sons chairperson Cyrus Mistry in a car crash earlier this month. According to police reports Mistry and Jehangir Pandole were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. 

Earlier on Friday, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari tweeted a video for promoting safer cars with six airbags. In this minute-long clip, the father of a bride is upset during a 'bidaai' ceremony. The teary bride sits in the car and her father, also crying, sees her off. That's when a cop, played by Akshay Kumar, chides the father of the bride for sending off his daughter with the groom in a car with only two airbags.

Latching on to the subtext that the car was gifted by the bride’s father, the opposition parties have slammed the Union government and accused it of ‘promoting dowry’.

Shiv Sena leader leader Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted, “This is such a problematic advertisement. Who passes such creatives? Is the government spending money to promote the safety aspect of a car or promoting the evil & criminal act of dowry through this ad?”

Trinamool Congress' Saket Gokhale also spoke against the video. He posed two questions to the NDA-led BJP government at the Centre.

''1. Disgusting to see Indian govt officially promoting dowry. What even??? 2. Cyrus Mistry died because the road design was faulty. That spot is an accident-prone area,'' Gokhale wrote.

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The ad comes a month after the release of Kumar's film ''Raksha Bandhan'', which focused on dowry culture, something the actor likened to ''extortion'' during its promotions. 

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