#NoConditionsApply: A global campaign to promote inclusion of women in the Bengali ritual of Sindoor khela

#NoConditionsApply, a global campaign on Sindoor khela to unite women who couldn’t previously join the celebration because of their differences.

Times of India - No Conditions apply

FCB Ulka’s #NoConditionsApply campaign for Times of India aims to change the 400-year-old Bengali Hindu ritual of Sindoor khela from one of division to one of inclusion. During this custom, married women come together to celebrate their marital status, while others – namely single women, divorcees and widows, as well as the gay and transgender community – are forced to look on, uninvited. #NoConditionsApply creates a newly inclusive Sindoor khela narrated by various unmarried women from the community, the film presents the point-of-view of these onlookers, and gives them a voice for change. This new celebration embraces all women, regardless of background or social identity, to transform the long-held tradition of division into a tradition of sisterhood.

#NoConditionsApply Bengali Hindu ritual of Shindoor Khela

“This movement wasn’t for those who had opted out. It was for those who had been pushed out. It was about erasing a line not drawn by them, but by others,” said Swati Bhattacharya, Chief Creative Officer of FCB Ulka. “Me and my other sister, my transgender sister. My widowed sister. My sex-worker sister. My outlier sister. It was about equality in symbology. Every progressive, inclusive thought is only as powerful as the ritual it permeates. At least in a country like India, where ritual is everything.”

Shedding light on this theme, Rohit Ohri, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FCB India, remarked: “Swati Bhattacharya, Chief Creative Officer of FCB Ulka – and a feminist – created this campaign about social inclusion for Times of India. Inclusion cannot be conditional. And so, #NoConditionsApply was the perfect articulation to spark off this behavior-change campaign.”

Let’s not apply *conditions* on celebrations.

Sumeli Chatterjee, Vice President and Head of Brand TOI, also reflects on the social significance of this campaign, commenting: “#NoConditionsApply is an initiative that is close to our heart and existence. There is a lot of talk about diversity of gender; this highlights the need to have diversity even within the gender. While we have hosted this inclusive Sindoor khela initiative in Kolkata, the messaging is relevant to every occasion and every festivity. When we talk of gender equity, we cannot limit our conversations to only ambition and opportunities; we need to talk about inclusion in festivals, celebrations and every walk of life, which will allow everyone to walk that step together. No celebration can ever be complete without including one and all.”

“Traditions that divide us stand in the way of progress. This is true around the world. #NoConditionsApply shows that we can hold on to the human need for traditions, and yet share them with so many more. That’s progress,” said Susan Credle, Chief Creative Officer of FCB Global.

Credits:
Campaign Elements: Digital & Print
Client: Times of India
Creative Agency: FCB Ulka
Creative Partner: Fred Levron
Chief Creative Officer: Swati Bhattacharya
National Creative Director: Surjo Dutt
Creative Team: Shailesh Khandeparker, Romit Nair, Donovan D’souza, Arijit Gupta, Arijit Sengupta, Abhijeet Ray, Anusheela Saha, SV Srinath, Gayatri Sriram, Ranit Mukherjee, Aurdhendu Banerji
Account Management: M N Damodaran, Vineeta Arora
Planning Team: John Thangaraj
Director (of the TVC): Amit Roy
Producers: Kirk Dias, Ramel George
Production House: The Bakery Films

This Ad is related to:
Durga Pooja, Times of India, Digital & Print, FCB Ulka, #NoConditionsApply, TVC campaign, gender equity, Indian festivals, Sindoor khela, Bengali, Indian rituals, transgender, Kolkata, Hindu festivals, Advertising, print campaign


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