In an incident that has triggered a severe backlash on social media, a man claiming to be an activist of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), tweeted that he turned down an Ola cab because the driver was a Muslim. Abhishek Mishra, the VHP’s digital & social media advisor, said that he would not give money to ‘jihadi people’ and had thus canceled the trip. Abhishek also enclosed a screenshot of the cancellation. It showed the driver’s name as Masood Alam.
“Cancelled @Olacabs Booking because Driver was Muslim. I don’t want to give my money to Jihadi People,’’ Abhishek tweeted on Friday. His tweet, however, got attention on Sunday, triggering a massive row on the micro-blogging site with people demanding suspension of his account with both Twitter and Ola.
Many people also reported his account to Twitter for suspension. Later, Abhishek shared a screenshot of a mail sent to him by Twitter. It said that Twitter received a complaint regarding his account for Friday’s tweet. After investigation, it said, the company couldn’t identify any violation of rules. “Accordingly, we have not taken any action at this time,” it reads.
— Abhishek Mishra (@Abhishek_Mshra) April 20, 2018
Responding to his tweet, the Bengaluru-based transportation network company said that ‘like our country, it is a secular platform’. The company urged its customers and drivers to treat each other with respect. “We don’t discriminate our driver partners or customers basis their caste, religion, gender or creed,” it said.
According to Abhishek’s Facebook profile, he hails from Ayodhya and works as an IT professional in Lucknow.
Here is Ola’s full statement:
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.