Wrong Idea sir ji! Shahtoosh passes ring test, not Pashmina

Kashmir Inc threatens legal action against cellular company


Srinagar:  In a classic case of ignorance and misinformation, Idea Cellular is misleading people in India about Pashmina. Though its ad the company suggests that pure Pashmina should pass ring test. The ad has came in for severe criticism in Kashmir particularly in the traders/artisan community. Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry has threatened legal action against the Idea cellular accusing the latter of defaming Pashmina in its advertisement.  The Idea cellular ad on TV shows two women asking for a Pashmina shawl to a dealer, who passes on a shawl to them claiming it to be made of Pashmina. The women reject the shawl complaining that it did not pass the ring test.  The ad has not gone down well with the local handicraft dealers here who have taken strong exception to it reasoning that it is the Shahtoosh that should pass the ring and not the Pashmina shawl. The KCCI to discuss this issue convened a meeting of a sub-committee looking to the handicraft sector.The meeting discussed the problems being faced by the handicraft dealers outside state since the ad went on air. “We have received representations from various Kashmir-based dealers from various parts of the country urging us to take action against the company,” the meeting was informed. The meeting was informed that customers outside were demanding the Pashmina shawl should pass the ring test. The meeting said it is only the Shahtoosh shawl that passes the ring test and not the Pashmina shawl. “The ad by sending a message that Pashmina shawl should pass the ring test is in fact misinforming the people,” the meeting said. “Government of India and JK government should act against the company for spreading false information about Pashmina which affects the business of Pashmina dealers,” the meeting said. President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Ashiq told Greater Kashmir that the chamber would soon send a legal notice to Idea and has already intimated the state government and handicraft department about this false information being propagated by the Idea. “I think it is a ploy to derail the Pashmina trade which was already marginalized by the traders of other states by using machine made fibers and selling them to customers as Kashmiri handmade Pashmina,” he said. “We have already written to Financial Commissioner Handicrafts and Directorate of Handicraft about the false information being propagated through this advertisement,” he said, adding that the ad was showing Kashmiri traders in bad taste. Ashiq said the company without doing any research “has been showing the advertisement without verifying the facts which is extremely unprofessional and highly deplorable act.” To mention, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, on Saturday came out in support of traders associated with traditional handicraft blaming private cellular service provider for the wrong portrayal of salesmen in their popular advertisement. Tweeting on the much-hyped advertisement campaign aired by the Idea cellular mobile company, Omar Saturday wrote,” Dear @ideacellular your ad is wrong & totally misleading. Pashmina shawls aren’t supposed to pass a ring test, that’s a Shahtosh shawl”. Responding to the popular sentiment on the micro blogging site Omar tweeted, “It’s also insulting to the hundreds of honest Kashmiri handicraft salesmen when the image projected is that of crooks”