Indian Taxi Co. Hits Back at Client Who Turned Down Muslim Driver

NEW DELHI – An Indian Taxi provider has criticized the media adviser of a Hindu right-wing organization who triggered uproar on Twitter by boasting that he had turned down a taxi ride because the driver was a Muslim, Times of India reported on Monday.

“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,” the taxi provider tweeted.

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The uproar started when Abhishek Mishra, the Utter Pradesh social media adviser of the far-right Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), wrote on Twitter that he cancelled a taxi trip after finding out that the driver was a Muslim.

“Cancelling @olacabs booking because [the] driver was Muslim. I don’t want to give my money to jihadis (sic),” he wrote.

The post triggered a massive outrage on the social media, amid demands to suspend his account with both Twitter and Ola.

Mishra has 14,000-plus followers, who include Union ministers Rajyavardhan Rathore, R K Singh, Mahesh Sharma, Ram Kripal Yadav, Narendra Singh Tomar apart from BJP MPs Manoj Tiwari and party’s UP ministers Swantantra Dev Singh and Suresh Rana.

There are some 180 million Muslims in Hindu-majority India, the world’s third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.

Right-wing Hindu groups such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena have been campaigning in central India for the last few years to stop Muslims from offering prayers in the open on Fridays and on some special occasions, when all the Muslims can’t be accommodated in mosques due to a large number of participants.

Muslims’ tense relations with the Hindu nationalist started after the bloody massacre of more than 2000 Muslims in Gujarat in 2002.