NCSC issues notice to Zomato over controversial ‘Kachra’ ad


PTI, Jun 13, 2023, 5:49 PM IST

Representative Image

New Delhi: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has issued a notice to restaurant aggregator Zomato over a controversial ad which showed actor Aditya Lakhia, who played the Dalit character Kachra in the film “Lagaan”, as items made of recycled waste.

The NCSC also asked the Delhi Police commissioner and the resident grievance officer of YouTube to investigate the matter.

The ad, which draws a link between the character Kachra with ‘kachra’, the Hindi word for garbage, was aired on World Environment Day on June 5.

In the nearly two-minute ad, Lakhia is depicted as a lamp, paper, paperweight, watering can, and different types of jackets — the accompanying text detailing how much recycled ‘kachra’ was used to make each item.

In its notice, the commission sought an explanation from Zomato over the ad and its details.

It asked the Delhi Police commissioner as well as the resident grievance officer of YouTube to investigate the matter and submit an action taken report immediately through post or email.

NCSC Chairman Vijay Sampla cautioned the officers that if the action taken report is not received within the stipulated time, then the commission might exercise the powers of the civil court conferred on it under Article 338 of the Constitution of India and issue a summon for personal appearance before it in Delhi.

Zomato deleted the ad after it came under attack for being casteist. The company issued an apology from its official Twitter handle and said the intent was to “spread awareness about the potential of plastic waste and benefits of recycling in a humorous way”.

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