On Sunday, a Lucknow man claiming to be associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) tweeted about cancelling his Ola cab ride because the driver was Muslim.
Abhishek Mishra, who describes himself on his Twitter handle as a "Hindutva Thinker, digital and social media advisor, Vishwa Hindu Parishad," tweeted:
— Abhishek Mishra (@Abhishek_Mshra) April 20, 2018
According to a report in Outlook, Mishra, who has a verified Twitter handle, is followed on social media by ministers of the Union Cabinet, including Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan. Mishra's tweet drew condemnation by other Twitter users including Congress MP Shashi Tharoor:
I remember an India where people who thought this way would have been ostracized rather than admired &"followed". We need to #BringIndiannessBack. https://t.co/410oU4JVuR — Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) April 22, 2018
Other Twitter users asked Ola and Twitter to take action against Mishra :
Shame on you and your distorted, sick mind.
— राहुल देव Rahul Dev (@rahuldev2) April 22, 2018
Don’t discriminate based on religion. When I get Hindu driver or Christian or whatever doesn’t matter. Use your drive as an opportunity to connect with your community, not divide. I’m sure the driver and you have more in common than you think. — Kamz K (@TuneInfinity) April 21, 2018
People like him are the real threat to our nation. This is not what we the Indians feel. Hate and hatred has no place in our society. — vibin (@vibin1245) April 22, 2018
@Uber_Support @Olacabs and @Twitter does this person deserve to be given right to use services provided by your organization, his views and vitriol is repugnant. — Fawad Khan (@Fawadnk) April 22, 2018
Mishra later posted another tweet defending himself:
People starts attack on me. Can I have no right to choose ? If they can run a campaign against Hanuman ji poster on cab, defamed Hindus and Hindus god in Kathua incident then they must be prepared for reply. https://t.co/GEWUVRvtwL — Abhishek Mishra (@Abhishek_Mshra) April 22, 2018
An Ola spokesperson, speaking to Firstpost, said, "The company does not subscribe to the views of individuals who want to create disharmony by using our platform". Ola also replied to Mishra's tweet:
Ola, like our country, is a secular platform, and we don't discriminate our driver partners or customers basis their caste, religion, gender or creed. We urge all our customers and driver partners to treat each other with respect at all times. — Ola (@Olacabs) April 22, 2018
According to a report in DNA, the company also stood up for its drivers in 2015 after one user asked for a Hindu driver. Ola shot back: “Sorry, we do not discriminate against our drivers on the basis of their religion”, according to the DNA report.
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Updated Date: Apr 22, 2018 20:43:35 IST