Ola faces backlash for reprimanding driver over ‘anti-national’ remark, co responds

On Friday, Ola user Kanav Sharma flagged the incident in a series of tweets where he claimed that the driver called him ‘anti-national’ after overhearing his phone conversation.
Ola faces backlash for reprimanding driver over ‘anti-national’ remark, co responds
Ola faces backlash for reprimanding driver over ‘anti-national’ remark, co responds
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Ola was dragged into a controversy after a Twitter user named Kanav Sharma took to the micro-blogging platform on Friday to flag an unpleasant experience that he had with the driver during one of his rides recently. 

Kanav Sharma wrote, “Dear @Olacabs, it would be much better if your drivers would focus on driving than overhearing conversations and taggin people anti-nationals during their driving duties.”

It all began after the driver overheard Kanav’s phone conversation where he was talking about India’s economic situation, says the passenger. 

Explaining the situation in a series of tweets, Kanav claims that the driver 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?”

The driver apparently replied, “Congress created JNU which is a prostitution hub of Tukde Tukde gang. You know who was Nehru? He was India’s first PM but his grandfather was a Muslim who converted to Hinduism to fool Indian people.”

Kanav says he told the driver to check his facts and “even if your belief is true, so how does it affect me? I am concerned about the economy and it’s not good!”

To this, Kanav claims the driver snapped back, “You are one of those anti-national people who find everything wrong with the government. You must also be against CAA and NRC.”

After the passenger said he was against these, the conversation continued, “where was your opposition when Kashmiri Pandits were raped and murdered.” 

Kanav claims at one point he told the driver that he didn’t want to engage in a debate with him but the driver continued, “I agree, your forefathers should have migrated to Pakistan. Our country would be cleaner without people of your thoughts.”

Kanav rounds off his tweets by saying, “Destination arrived. I deboarded peacefully. The depth to which BJP’s propaganda and fake news has reached, it is getting really scary.”

After Kanav flagged the incident, Ola Support reached out to the passenger and said, “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."

No sooner had Ola put out this statement, there was a barrage of comments from people, espsecially right wing supporters, urging the company not to take any action against the driver and warning it to be ready for loss of business if it did. 

Faced with a volley of critical remarks, Ola subsequently put out another statement, “We are respectful of all personal views and like India's democratic values, encourage healthy exchange of thoughts. None of the parties involved in this case have been penalized from using the platform and we urge everyone to respect difference of opinion at all times.”

This was met with approval from several Twitter users who lauded Ola for upholding the driver’s freedom of speech.  

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