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Featured Image: The Bengali ad published in newspapers in Kolkata today. 

By A Newsman

Kolkata, 12 July: IT was an advertisement aimed at retaining subscribers, from the ever prowling Reliance Jio, by offering them a host of customised services. But Airtel’s full-page Bengali advertisement in Anandabazar Patrika this morning seems to be doing just the opposite!

Published as a jacket in Anandabazar today, the ad is full of erroneous Bengali ~ both in syntax and spelling.

The blunder starts from the very first line with the word “relationship” being translated into “Somparkata” in Bengali and after trampling the language throughout the 14-line text, ends by mentioning “Somparkata” again.

Such blunders from a multinational telco like Bharti Airtel and that too published in the top most Bengali daily Anandabazar, has left Bengali readers disgruntled. Newspapers, however, have little say on the contents and designing of ads as long as those are not promoting hatred or illegal products / services.

The disgruntlement is such that a Kolkata-based writer-publisher Sumeru Mukhopadhyay has decided to give up his Airtel post-paid connection of 10 years.

“I am giving up Airtel connection. Have sent them a letter,” Mukhopadhyay announced on his Facebook. He is not alone. Facebook and Twitter are abuzz with condemnation for Airtel. Some are even calling it deliberate attempt to distort and belittle the Bengali language.

“Isn’t this part of a grand conspiracy to damage Bengali? #ShameAirtel,” wrote Maruf Hossain, another creative personality from the city.

Reading of the text in the ad gives the feel that it might have been translated from an English version by using Google Translator or might have been drafted by someone who has very little knowledge of Bengali.

“Whatever be the case, Airtel seems to care very little to hire a Bengali translator, who are available in plenty in Kolkata at low remuneration,” said Sandeepan Roy, a university student from Burdwan.

On being contacted, spokesman from the public relations agency that works for Airtel in Kolkata termed it “a human error.” He said that Airtel has tweeted on the episode, but until the filing of this report this evening, NEWSMEN failed to trace any.

Airtel has responded late this evening through a tweet, expressing regret for the “oversight” and saying that it has taken steps to “avoid” recurrence of such situations.

Airtel Bengali Ad Apology