In times of distress, cab-hailing apps can be a real boon. However, this wasn't the case for Kanav Sharma, a Management Consultant for AT Kearney, who took to Twitter to complain about his cab driver.
The Highway To Hell
In a series of tweets addressed to Ola's Twitter account, @olacabs, Sharma described an unpleasant encounter with his cab driver. Apparently, he had been discussing India's slowing economic growth on call. The driver, obviously overhearing the conversation, soon asked him,
“only 6 years of Modi government, how can you blame economy?” It is congress’s fault of 70 years."
As Sharma responded, asking what Congress had done wrong, a heated discussion ensued, which you can read in this thread.
With clearly opposing views, the driver allegedly proceeded to call Sharma an anti-national, telling him his "forefathers should have migrated to Pakistan. Our country would be cleaner without people of your (Sharma's) thoughts."
Sharma deboarded without any further incident, calling the situation of "BJP's propaganda and fake news... really scary."
The Final Judgement
While Ola responded accommodatingly to Sharma's complaint, reporting the driver for corrective action and hoping to serve him better in the future. However, netizens did not take to this as kindly.
Twitter users sympathised with the driver, asking whether the expression of his views was not equivalent to Sharma's under the Freedom of Expression of the constitution. Many believe the rider should be reprimanded instead, tagging AT Kearney. And of course, swearing to #boycottola until they reinstated the driver and took back the action taken against him.
Replies to #boycottola tweets noted that the driver was replying to a conversation he wasn't part of, and called the customer "anti-national" and claimed India would be "cleaner" without such people. This certainly not what you expect to be told when taking a cab.
Others noted that #boycottola would not really harm the company as much. Instead, it would hurt other uninvolved drivers depending upon the app for their daily wages.
It's clear that the political division in our country has grown deeper rifts than it has had in a while, regardless of who is really responsible for the state of matters today. It is unfortunate that political opinions have alienated us enough to have such distressing results.