Row over Parineeti’s removal as Haryana brand ambassador baseless

Hindustan Times, CHANDIGARH | By, Chandigarh
Dec 20, 2019 11:10 PM IST

Ambala-born Bollywood actor’s term ended in 2017

The controversy over the removal of Bollywood actor, Parineeti Chopra, as brand ambassador of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign in Haryana following a tweet by the Kesari star condemning the “barbaric” police action against those protesting against the Citizens Amendment Act has turned out to be baseless.

HT Image
HT Image

A June 28, 2016 agreement inked between the Haryana women and child development department and Yash Raj Films Private Limited, Parineeti’s authorised agent and exclusive representative to engage her as the brand ambassador said her term expired on April 30, 2017. “The state wishes to appoint the artist (Parineeti) as the official brand ambassador for the Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign for a period of 12 months commencing from May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017,’’ said the agreement. Top officials said that when Parineeti’s brand ambassador agreement got terminated in April 2017 and there was no further renewal, where is the question of removing her. Surprisingly, the actor did not clear the air on her term even after the social media went viral with the posts of her removal. Despite repeated calls and messages, Parineeti’s team did not respond.

The misinformation about Ambala-born Bollywood actor’s removal spread on social media following reports in certain language newspapers that the Haryana government has got rid of Chopra as Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao brand ambassador after she criticised the government for allowing innocent citizens being beaten for speaking their mind on the Citizens Amendment Act. “If this is what’s gonna happen every time a citizen expresses their view, forget CAB, we should pass a bill and not call our country a democracy anymore! Beating up innocent human beings for speaking their mind? BARBARIC,” the actor had tweeted on December 17.

Apparently trusting the newspaper reports, Congress leaders, Kumari Selja and Randeep Surjewala also went on to criticise the BJP-JJP government in the state. This fuelled the controversy and strengthened the falsehood.

Sakshi also remained brand ambassador along her

In fact, Haryana’s agreement with Sakshi Malik, the 2016 Olympic medal winning wrestler who was appointed as the brand ambassador of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign for 12 months had also terminated in November 2017. The Olympian remained a concurrent brand ambassador along with the Bollywood star for about five months.

Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar while approving Sakshi’s appointment as brand ambassador had also asked the women and child department to co-ordinate with the Yash Raj Films Private Limited to convince them of the desirability of concurrently having Sakshi and Parineeti as brand ambassadors of the campaign. This was necessary since a clause in Parineeti’s agreement prohibited the government from appointing any other brand ambassador during the term of the agreement, officials said.

What does being a brand ambassador entail?

As per the terms and conditions of the agreement, Parineeti was expected to align with the mission of the Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign and state’s motto of prevention of gender biased sex selective elimination, ensuring survival and protection of the girl child, education and empowerment of the girl child.

She also agreed to endorse the views of the state government, uphold its principles in public sphere and act to inspire others to take positive action. The actor was also restrained from undertaking any activity that is detrimental to the objectives of the campaign.

The agreement also stipulated that Parineeti will make 10 social media posts for promoting the campaign and schedule an appearance for the promotion of the campaign, commit a day each for television commercials, photo-shoot and for an additional promotional event.


    Hitender Rao is Senior Associate Editor covering the state of Haryana. A journalist with over two decades of experience, he writes on politics, economy, migration and legal affairs with a focus on investigative journalism.

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