A Hindu customer of a popular food delivery service in India caused a disgusting bigotry scandal on social media after tweeting to the company that he just canceled his order because he couldn’t accept the fact that a non-Hindu driver was dispatched to deliver it.
The self-professed “world’s largest democracy”, which portrays itself on the global stage as a paradisaical place full of yoga and Bollywood, unsurprisingly has a very ugly side to its society that was just epitomized by the disgusting bigotry scandal that a Hindu customer of a popular food delivery service caused on social media. Amit Shukla scandalously tweeted the following to the company:
“Just cancelled an order on @ZomatoIN they allocated a non hindu rider for my food they said they can’t change rider and can’t refund on cancellation I said you can’t force me to take a delivery I don’t want don’t refund just cancel”
He evidently thought that the tweet would earn him praise in a country where bigotry of all stripes has become uncomfortably common after the rise of ultra-jingoist Hindutva leader Modi in 2014, and while he certainly has his share of supporters, it was refreshing for the world to see that so many people were condemning him that the scandal ultimately went viral.
Shukla defended his deplorable decision by saying that “The constitution gives religious freedom to everyone…There was nothing religious in my tweet…”, which was an arrogant display of the Hindu supremacism that’s regrettably come to characterize Indian society lately. It also says a lot about his bigotry that he didn’t even consider his tweet attacking the company for dispatching a non-Hindu driver to be religious.
It’s true that Shukla has the right to refuse food delivered to him by a Muslim for whatever his reason may be and that nobody can force him to pay for this service if he doesn’t want it, but that’s missing the point. His original intent in sending his tweet was clearly to organize a large-scale boycott of the food delivery company by his fellow Hindu supremacists for hiring Muslim employees.
That said, the “ModiMob” (the author’s neologism for the BJP’s Hindu supremacist supporters) also has the right to join Shukla in refusing to patronize that food delivery company ever again, and many of them probably will because he’s now regarded as a “hero” in the Hindu supremacist community despite being a veritable villain in the eyes of all others.
The key takeaway from this scandal is that Hindu supremacism is the main driving force in Indian society today, but that there are still enough secularists in the country who are loudly opposing this trend. The end result is that many more so-called “culture wars” of this sort will likely be fought in the coming future, and each side will probably increasingly resort to rallying international support for their cause.
This in turn would naturally raise global awareness about the fact that the world’s “self-professed democracy” isn’t anything at all like its perception managers have tried to make it seem. India’s soft power will therefore continue to erode as the truth about its society becomes self-evident to all, though there’s a slim chance that it might eventually improve in the unlikely event that the secularists emerge as the victors in these “culture wars”.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.