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Tinder India's Pride video draws praise and flak

Social media users wonder why Tinder didn't use a queer artiste. They’re also questioning the casting of Nakshatra Bagwe in the ad.

Tinder India's new ad-cum-music video for 'Pride' month (June) has hit both the high and low notes among its fans. They've liked the music, but the choice of artiste and the casting of a particular person have miffed the LGBTQIA+ community on social media.

On Twitter, the brand said it's a collaboration between Ritviz, Jugaad Motion Pictures, the LGBTQIA+ community in India, and itself. Called 'Raahi', it's a depiction of how India can/will celebrate 'Pride' from home.

Pride month include parades and marches to celebrate the global queer community, but the Coronavirus pandemic pushed these celebrations behind doors and screens this year.

In the music video, there's a romantic cooking experience on a video call, a fun party held over Zoom, 'rainbow' flags being waved, rainbow-themed 'rangolis, a guy asking his father on a video call if he'll parade with him, and the latter's instant, "Yes", and a message that says, "Join me for a video walk in 10!" It's everything you can expect from Pride celebrations from home, through Tinder's eyes.

Tinder is not just one of India's leading dating apps, but it’s also one of the friendliest ones for the LGBTQI community. When you sign up on the app, you can choose from a list of 10 sexual orientations, making it easier for you to match with the people you'd want to meet.

But, the ad, despite praise, has received flak on social media.

Who's the real representative?

On social media, two issues have cropped up against the music video:

Why use Ritviz?

Twitter users questioned Tinder on why it chose Ritviz, instead of using the opportunity to promote a Queer artiste. The same question was posed to the artiste, i.e., why didn't he offer the opportunity and platform to a queer artiste.

Two Twitter accounts questioned Tinder India on the casting of Nakshatra Bagwe (the guy at the start of the video). They've posted a snapshot in which Bagwe speaks ill of other members of the community.

Neither Twitter (or Tinder) India, Bagwe, or Ritviz have responded to these questions and allegations. We'll update the story once they do.