Inciting communal sentiments to unfathomable levels, a man cancelled his Ola cab ride after he realised that the driver was a Muslim. As an act of casteist attitude, a verified Twitter user Abhishek Mishra, who apparently belongs to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal, tweeted saying that he does not give to his money to “jihadi people”. He had attached a screenshot of his Ola cab booking which named the Muslim cab driver.
His tweet sparked a communal conversation on the micro-blogging site and was condemned by a host of Twitter users including the likes of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and Delhi Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee.
Abhishek Mishra (@Abhishek_Mshra) 20 April 2018
In response to Abhishek Mishra’s anti-Muslim tweet, ride-hailing company Ola issued a strong-worded statement saying that “the company is a secular platform and it does not discriminate its driver partners or customers based on their caste, religion, gender or creed. We urge all our customers and driver partners to treat each other with respect at all times”.
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) 22 April 2018
As the criticism he was receiving on the social media and the reactions started to pour in, he again took to Twitter and tweeted the second message and defended his decision on the premise that he has the “right to choose”. He tweeted again asking people to endorse his views by retweeting.
If this views acceptable then why my views are not acceptable ? pic.twitter.com/170MWQuBpn— Abhishek Mishra (@Abhishek_Mshra) 22 April 2018
"People starts an attack on me. Can I have no right to choose? If they can run a campaign against Hanuman ji poster on a cab, defamed Hindus and Hindus god in Kathua incident then they must be prepared for a reply," his Twitter post read. With this tweet, he justified his act by saying that Hindus and Hindu Gods were too defamed in the Kathua incident.
Many, who criticised Mishra, also advised him to stop buying fuel as it is imported from the Middle East and urged Ola to ban him from its platform.
When Muslim do the same, then morons have no problem. pic.twitter.com/0EL8wQXpv5— Abhishek Mishra (@Abhishek_Mshra) 22 April 2018
Mishra, who claims to be a “Hindutva Thinker” on his Twitter handle, is followed by a score of Union ministers, including Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of Culture Mahesh Sharma. He has over 14,000 followers on Twitter.
What was surprising was the kind of support Abhishek got for his outrageous deed. Some Twitter users blatantly came in his defense and dubbed his discriminatory attitude as "freedom of expression" and said he has the right to choose.
Dear @TwitterIndia, have reported this account for spreading hate against a particular community, with no provocation whatsoever, please intiate action asap, moreover the blue tick is being used as a badge of honour for spewing hate, awaiting prompt action https://t.co/aYHgVfKUaN— Ruben Mascarenhas (@rubenmasc) 22 April 2018
Tharoor said such people should be ostracised rather than admired and “followed”. “I remember an India where people who thought this way would have been ostracized rather than admired &”followed”. We need to #BringIndiannessBack,” he tweeted.
Abhishek Mishra's Facebook profile says he is from Ayodhya and works as an IT professional in Lucknow.