One month ago, actor and brand ambassador Priyanka Chopra was an ardent anti-fireworks campaigner, pleading with her fans to “Skip the crackers this Deepawali”, especially on behalf of fellow asthmatics.
On Saturday night, however, the skies over Jodhpur exploded with fireworks in celebration of her wedding to American singer and actor Nick Jonas.
Predictably, Twitter exploded with charges of hypocrisy and double standards.
“So basically diwali crackers create problem and wedding celebration crackers add oxygen!!” said Twitter user Mahesh Watharkar. “I think @priyankachopra asthma gone a day before wedding,” tweeted Ayaan Lokesh. Another user asked if the Rajasthan Police had taken action against the couple.
This year, the Supreme Court had limited the bursting of crackers to two hours on Deepawali day, and also permitted only “safe and green” firecrackers in Delhi.
“Can you please tell us from where we should buy those noiseless & Oxygen emitting Eco friendly Crackers that you’ve used in your wedding? We’ll keep them in stock for next Diwali…” said a tweet from Dr. Janak Pandya.
Ms. Chopra is a brand ambassador for Breathefree, a public service initiative for asthma patients organised by Cipla, which manufactures inhalers. On Deepawali morning, Breathefree had posted a video of Ms. Chopra on Twitter as part of its #BerokZindagi (Unstoppable Life) campaign.
“Please keep my breathing unstoppable. Skip the crackers this Deepawali,” the actor urges in the promotional. “Let Deepawali be about lights and laddoos and love and not pollution. Reduce the use of firecrackers, so that you all, asthmatics like me, all the animals out there, everyone can enjoy the festival too.”
When The Hindu reached out to Cipla for a response, the company said it was not prepared to comment on its brand ambassador’s actions. Twitter users however, were already questioning the company.
“This is awesome! #Cipla cures Priyanka’s asthma (which she had since the age of 5) just in time, for her to enjoy the firecrackers at the wedding,” said a sarcastic tweet by Gopal Kavalireddi.
“Dear @Cipla_Global your brand ambassador @priyankachopra does exactly what she tells us not to do on Diwali, on your behalf. Can’t wait to hear your response and action. No action would definitely mean choosing other brands over you where possible,” tweeted travel blogger and author Anuradha Goyal.
At 2 pm on Sunday, Breathefree’s Twitter page wished the newly wed couple as they “embark on their new #BerokZindagi”. It posted: “The only one who can take Priyanka’s breath away. #PriyankaNick”