Zomato was recently subjected to an array of negative comments for its new 'Kachra' campaign on social media. As a result, the food delivery platform has taken it down from all platforms.
Aimed at promoting cleanliness and reducing food wastage, the campaign consisted of a series of ad films which build on the tagline- “Don’t waste food. Don’t be kachra.” as part of its moment marketing initiative for World Environment Day.
Through the ad campaign, Zomato aimed to explain to viewers that "Kachra can become many things when recycled," using the marginalised character Kachra from the movie ‘Lagaan’ as an example.
However, the netizens had a different viewpoint to share on the campaign, as it seemed to be quite upsetting to various users for having an ‘insensitive approach’ and thereby was called out for casteist tonality and lack of diversity.
In the 2001 Bollywood movie, Kachra, a member of the marginalised community, had joined the ragtag cricket team made up of Indian peasants who competed against a haughty British official in a game of cricket. The role was played by Aditya Lakhia.
Usually, I'm a big fan of Zomato's marketing, mostly done in-house. But their new ad film, made for World Environment Day, made for an uncomfortable watch, at least for me - your mileage may vary.— Karthik 🇮🇳 (@beastoftraal) June 6, 2023
I understand the intent: to use the 'Kachra' character from Lagaan for his name 1/5 pic.twitter.com/WmoYYS4grg
The fact that not *one* Zomato employee at any level of seniority thought that a Dalit character called 'Kachra' (rubbish) is insensitive/bigoted ..... really speaks volumes about the caste composition of major Indian corporations (esp startups). https://t.co/CnVnxbJLW0— Aditya Mani Jha (@aditya_mani_jha) June 8, 2023
Casteist idea by Zomato to make an advertisement and humiliate a marginalised character “Kachra”. pic.twitter.com/nrXB2UF60R— Harsh (@_ambedkarite) June 6, 2023
This is tone deaf & deeply offensive— Nikhil Inamdar (@Nik_Inamdar) June 8, 2023
@zomato @deepigoyal. Using a Dalit character from a popular movie to depict him as a recycled stool and hand towel! What on earth were you thinking? #Kachra #Lagaan https://t.co/gFYuoEJDpA
The Zomato ad with Kachra from "Lagaan" is unacceptable in its ignorance. To use a Dalit character and show him as a stand-in for furniture (!) in a country where as recently as 2022 a Dalit child was killed for drinking water from a pot meant for upper-castes, is just egregious.— Maanvi (@Maanvi2501) June 8, 2023