Unfortunately, the current scenario in our country is one that’s been mired with sheer radicalism, extreme right-wing politics and its hate-spewing agenda which targets the minorities. Every single day sees a new low which makes me wonder how long the secular fabric of the nation will remain intact. Or will it be trampled under the foot of sectarianism?
Recently, two developments caught my attention which led me to a thinking spree. These involved two big giants, Amazon India and Ola Cabs. Amazon India deleted noted actor Swara Bhasker’s tweets featuring her endorsement of the brand, after a #BoycottAmazon campaign erupted. The whole controversy happened as the ‘Tweeple’ objected to Amazon’s support for a supposedly ‘anti-national’ and ‘anti-Hindu’ person – just because Swara was protested against the Kathua rape in strong words, specifically mentioning the crime scene as a ‘Devi-sthaan’. This was enough to infuriate the trolls, and many of them threatened to uninstall their Amazon apps.
The point is that, contrary to all expectations, Amazon India surrendered. This was so shocking – especially since it came from a tech giant that should have shown a bit of corporate responsibility, rather than just getting bogged down by the trolls. Some sane people though have slammed the brand for doing such a volte-face.
On the other hand, Ola Cabs too faced a peculiar situation where a user cancelled his ride just because ‘the driver was Muslim and he didn’t want to give his money to jihadi people’. Unlike Amazon India however, the company responded in the true spirit of a corporate giant, stating that: “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.” This, in my opinion, is a perfect example of how a company needs to respond to people who practise and propagate religious discrimination, and thereby, also reinstate people’s faith in the republic.
In times like these, when the atmosphere is so communally charged and divisive forces are at work, this move is like a breath of fresh air. Attitudes and approaches like that of Ola are perhaps a beacon of hope that not all is wrong with my country. There’s still some hope left. Kudos to the true national spirit.