A social media adviser for a Hindu nationalist organization, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, infuriated hundreds of Twitter users when he tweeted that he cancelled a local cab service’s ride because the driver was a Muslim.
Abhishek Mishra tweeted he cancelled his Ola cab ride because he did not want to give money to “Jihadi people.”
Users on the social media platform called out Mishra on his bigotry, claiming he was marginalizing a section of the Indian public because of their religious beliefs.
Twitter users demanded Mishra’s account be suspended from the social media platform and from the cab service based on inciting religious division.
You should have a flag system @Olacabs to put these kinds of people under no cab ride list. They better learn a lesson!!— Akash Chowdhury (@akassh06) April 22, 2018
Well done #OlaCabs— Hemanth DP (@DPHemanth) April 22, 2018
This type of Rabid and blatant hatred and division based on religion by few toxic hate merchants, proposed up by vested politicians can only drive the country down further than what they have already pushed!
Ola cabs hit back claiming theirs is a secular platform and no disparity will be tolerated over religious beliefs, however, Mishra’s account was still operational. Twitter also found “no violation of the Twitter rules” in his 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
Despite the backlash on social media, Mishra said he stands by his decision.
"I have repeatedly heard and seen remarks against Hindus Gods especially demeaning mini idols of Hanuman dangling in cars and Shiva idols. I have said what other Hindus may want to say. I have no regrets,” he said.
When asked about his comments calling the cab driver a “jihadi,” he said the “whole world” refers Muslims with that term.
"The whole world calls Muslims jihadis. I didn’t have anything personal against him. What I feel is felt by the rest of the world. I won’t mince my words,” he said.
Mishra’s obvious bias and labeling based on religious practices comes as India is in outrage over the rape and murder of an 8-year old in a Hindu temple in Kathua.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who belongs to yet another ultra-conservative party, was put under immense pressure after it was alleged some of the leaders of his party, Bharatiya Janata Party, participated in protests in support of the accusers of the child rape case. Indian government recently ruled to approve death penalty for child rapists.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad refused to react on the comments made by Mishra.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: Photo by Hemant Mishra/Mint via Getty Images