The Myntra logo — Is that not just an ‘M’ ?

Now that the pretty (but of indeterminate taste ) dragon-fruit has been renamed as "Kamalam", I vote that India also get a new moniker — Utopia !! I know it is not original but it sort of sums up the state of the country right now. Why ? Now that’s a good question. BECAUSE we are so happy, so contended that we have no big issues to fight for and no problems whatsoever– the economy is on a roll, jobs are crawling out of the woodwork, there is no poverty, no dearth of essentials, the farmers are on a picnic, ad infinitum, right ? Why else would we raise such a brouhaha over a logo ? A simple logo? What the…….? (My school teachers would never have allowed me to use the “appropriate” — ha, ha–word here but I’m sure you get the drift !).

Yeah, it’s the Myntra logo which has suddenly become the country’s most important problem. Now, following this cataclysmic incident, two amazing realizations hit me square between the eyes ; one, I am a dumbass (I always suspected it though) and two, I just don’t have the discerning eye . Period. Because had it not been for the enlightened Ms. Naaz Patel, founder of NGO Avesta Foundation in Mumbai, I would have continued to look at the fashion e-commerce site Myntra’s logo as nothing other than an M, plain and simple, but now I have been provided the lens to see it as something quite different and urged to even get offended ! Of course, recent events have shown us that getting offended by something that really doesn’t matter and making a big deal about it is the new normal and well, I believe that is exactly what has happened here.

People were given something new to get angry about this week and the company was forced to revamp its five-year-old visual brand mark even though, honestly speaking, almost no one thought (till, of course, they were steered in that direction) that the logo was “insulting and offensive” towards women, as Ms. Patel claims. Y’know, I am even surprised that Mr. Mukesh Bansal, founder and chief executive of Myntra, has not been slammed with sedition charges, or at the very least, a “Me Too” rap !

This is another face of intolerance, which is the new national mania. A brand is being forced to change its logo because of the overactive (or shall we say “dirty”) imagination of a few people who find it offensive. I mean, seriously ? Do they really have nothing better to occupy themselves with ? Logos are a crucial part of brand-building and a successful brand like Myntra must have spent crores in establishing its logo as a familiar symbol in the minds of its customers, but the company had to capitulate to avoid courting hate-fuelled backlash on social media which would have cost them their sales. Remember the animosity generated by the (very sweet and thoughtful — if you ask me, that is) Tanishq ad featuring a Muslim family organising a baby shower for their Hindu daughter-in-law ? Since brands are about perception by the public mind companies cannot afford to ignore any negative publicity.

Just because we are living in a hyper-connected society where everyone has a voice on social media, do we have to misuse that facility on trivia ? Is this the new India we are supposed to be proud of ? Can’t we use our own brains and choose which battles to fight ? Does mainstream media (damn Arnab, for starters) have to tell us what issues should raise our hackles and what we should cheer about?

Do you really think the Myntra logo controversy deserves the attention it is getting ? I frankly do not. Then, if you insist on wearing pornographic lenses to view anything and everything, you are sure to find “objectionable” images a dime a dozen. Expectedly, the claim by Patel opened the floodgates for a meme fest on Twitter and the reactions are (thankfully) quite funny.

But the main question remains, what is important to us as educated, sensible citizens ? Do we choose to remain regressive and get salacious pleasure by seeing sex where it doesn’t exist, or do we look at the larger picture of a country burdened with major “real” problems ?



Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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