New Delhi, Jan 24 : Ride-hailing major Ola on Friday said that it would not penalise a driver who allegedly accused a rider here of being "anti-national" after overhearing him talking about the poor state of the economy with a friend over phone.
"We are respectful of all personal views and like India's democratic values, we encourage healthy exchange of thoughts. None of the parties involved in this case have been penalised from using the platform and we urge everyone to respect difference of opinion at all times," Ola said in a statement.
This is despite the fact that soon after the rider complained about the behaviour of the driver, Ola apologised to the rider.
"We are sorry about your bad experience. We have reported the driver-partner for corrective action and we would ensure to avoid these instances in the future. Hope to serve you better," Ola said.
The rider, Kanav Sharma, described his ordeal in a series of tweets on Friday.
"Took @Olacabs yesterday. Driver overheard my phone conversation where I was talking about India's economic situation. He said, 'only 6 years of Modi government, how can you blame economy?' It is Congress' fault of 70 years. I asked him, so what all wrongs did Congress do," Sharma, a management consultant, said in a tweet.
As the conversation progressed, the driver said that "Congress created JNU which is a prositution 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." When Sharma asked the driver to check the facts, the driver said, "You are one of those anti-national people who find everything wrong with the government. You must also be against CAA and NRC." "I said yes I am against these. He continued, 'where was your opposition when Kashmiri Pandits were raped and murdered'," Sharma said in a tweet.
Sharma alleged that the driver abused him even after he wanted to rescue himself from the debate.
Tagging Ola Cabs in a tweet, Sharma said, "It would be much better if your drivers would focus on driving than overhearing conversations and tagging people as anti-nationals during their driving duties." But soon after Ola apologised for the incident, many people on Twitter threatened to boycott the service of the ride hailing major.
Early on Friday morning, #BoycottOla started trending as many people tweeted in support of the driver.