boAt and BookMyShow Caught in Controversy Over Canada Rapper's India Tour


A controversy surrounding the India tour of Canada-based rapper Shubhneet Singh, known as Shubh, has ensnared Indian startups boAt and BookMyShow. The tour, which was scheduled to take place in India, came under fire due to Shubh's past social media posts featuring a distorted map of India.

The controversy led to significant repercussions for both boAt and BookMyShow. boAt, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) audio products brand, withdrew its sponsorship of the concert in the wake of the controversy. The company cited its commitment as a "true Indian brand" as the primary reason for pulling out of the sponsorship.

Meanwhile, BookMyShow, a prominent ticketing platform in India, found itself facing criticism and calls for a boycott on social media platforms, particularly X. Users and netizens expressed their displeasure over the platform's involvement in selling tickets for the now-cancelled tour.

The controversy highlights the challenges faced by companies operating in India's diverse and sometimes sensitive sociopolitical landscape. Shubh's past social media posts, which depicted a distorted map of India, touched a nerve with many Indians who took offense at what they perceived as a violation of the country's territorial integrity.

In response to the backlash, Team Innovation, the organizer of the India tour, decided to cancel the event. The cancellation was prompted by mounting criticism and concerns about potential disruptions during the tour. Team Innovation faced public pressure to address the issue and ultimately decided to call off the tour.

For boAt, its decision to withdraw sponsorship reflects its commitment to its Indian identity and values. The company's move underscores the importance of cultural and national sensitivity in corporate sponsorships and partnerships, particularly in a diverse and complex market like India.

BookMyShow, on the other hand, is grappling with the fallout of its involvement in the ticket sales for the tour. The platform's response to the situation and any subsequent actions it takes will likely be closely monitored by both its users and the public.

This controversy serves as a reminder that businesses operating in India must navigate a wide range of cultural, political, and societal sensitivities. How companies respond to such challenges can significantly impact their reputation and standing in the Indian market



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