Zomato Apologises After Row Over Hrithik Roshan Ad

Bhopal: The online food delivery firm Zomato issued an apology stating it had no intention to hurt sentiments a day after priests of a temple in Madhya Pradesh objected to Zomato’s advertisement featuring Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan,

On Saturday, two priests of the Mahakaleshwar temple demanded that Zomato withdraw the advertisement, claiming that it offends Hindu sentiments. In the advertisement, Hrithik Roshan says he felt like having a thali (food platter) in Ujjain, so he ordered it from ‘Mahakal’.

In a statement, Zomato said thali is a recommended item on the menu of Ujjain’s Mahakal Restaurant and not the revered Mahakaleshwar Temple. The Mahakaleshwar or Mahakal temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country and attracts a large number of devotees.

The ad in question is no longer running, Zomato said.

“The video is part of a pan-India campaign for which we identified top local restaurants and their top dishes based on popularity in each city. Mahakal restaurant was one of the restaurants chosen for the campaign in Ujjain,” the delivery firm said.

“We deeply respect the sentiments of the people of Ujjain and the ad in question is no longer running. We offer our sincerest apologies for the intent here was never to hurt anyone’s beliefs and sentiments,” Zomato said.

Ujjain Collector Ashish Singh, who is the chairman of the Mahakal temple trust, had criticised the ad saying devotees are served prasad on a plate (thali) free of cost and it is not something that can be ordered online through the food delivery app.

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