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Ola Faces Ire After Driver Calls Passenger ‘Anti-National’

Ola Faces Ire After Driver Calls Passenger ‘Anti-National’

Ola’s response to the incident has enraged Twitter

#BoycottOla has been trending on Twitter

Zoho’s CEO also faced backlash this month for attending RSS’ event

Indian cab-hailing service Ola has garnered flak for trying to solve an issue between a driver and a passenger, who were involved in a verbal spat over politics. The passenger, who has different opinions from the driver about the Indian government, alleged that the latter called him an “anti-national.”

The incident came to light when a management consultant, who had taken an Ola cab on January 24, took to Twitter to report the incident. He said that while he was on the way to his destination, the driver overheard his telephonic conversation about the Indian economy and joined in to give his opinion.

The tweet read, “Took @Olacabs yesterday. Driver overheard my phone conversation where I was talking about India’s economic situation. He said, “only 6 years of Modi government, how can you blame economy?” It is congress’s fault of 70 years. I asked him, so what all wrongs did congress do?(1/n)”

The passenger wrote eight tweets to elaborate the whole incident, where the driver spoke about India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s heritage, “anti-national activities” in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the government’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), among other things.

The passenger highlighted that the driver had called him an “anti-national” as well. Moreover, the driver allegedly told him, “Your forefathers should have migrated to Pakistan. Our country would be cleaner without people of your thoughts.”

Tagging Ola’s official account, the passenger wrote, “It would be much better if your drivers would focus on driving than overhearing conversations and tagging people anti-nationals during their driving duties.”

Ola was quick to come up with a response. The company replied, “We are sorry about your bad experience. We have reported the driver-partner for corrective action and would ensure to avoid these instances in the future. Hope to serve you better.”

But this is where the trouble began for Ola. Ola’s response enraged Twitteratis, who started raising questions on the “corrective actions” the company was talking about. A lot of users came out in support of drivers, saying that everyone is entitled to their own freedom of speech. The backlash blew out of proportions and then Twitter had to issue a clarification within 12 hours. Since then #BoycottOla has been trending on Twitter.

Zoho Caught Up In Debacle

This is not the first time that a company landed in thick soup because of some political comment. Recently, the founder and CEO of software development company Zoho Corp, Sridhar Vembu, also got a backlash on Twitter for his decision to attend Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) ‘Resurgent Bharath’ event on February 2, 2019.

However, Vembu did not back out of his decision. In response to the negative comments, he tweeted, “I don’t decide my views based on Twitter attacks. If you dislike which events I attend, please do what your conscience dictates and I will do what mine dictates. We earn our daily bread due to our work and we will continue to do quality work. I won’t be responding to attacks.”

Ola Faces Ire After Driver Calls Passenger ‘Anti-National’

RSS members also claimed that inviting senior executives from corporations is a routine for the organisation. Previously, even HCL Groups’ Shiv Nadar, Tata Group’s Ratan Tata and Wipro’s Azim Premji have attended RSS events, the organisation claimed.