HDFC shuns employee’s comment asking ‘Muslims to get out of India’; Right-wing trolls dare boycott if bank expelled the employee

HDFC Group gets threatened by Right-Wing trolls

As BJP and NDA are heading towards a consecutive five-year term, we may end up hearing such news, as below, more often perhaps!

Akshay Lahoti, an HDFC Life employee, wrote a Facebook post where he called for a “Hindu referendum”, adding that if majority of Hindus voted against Muslim citizenship, Muslims should “accept the mandate and move to Pakistan and Bangladesh”, which, according to Akshay, were created for them in the first place.

“In 1947, there was no Brexit style referendum to decide if Muslims should be allowed to stay in India. A bunch of elitists decided that India should be a secular country and forced their idea of India on the rest of the country.

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Given a choice, I am extremely confident that an overwhelming majority of Hindus would vote against Muslims being given Indian citizenship. Why don’t we finish the unfinished business of partition once and for all by taking a Hindu referendum and decide on the idea of India?”

As expected, Akshay’s post, which called for division and hate, went viral and screenshots of the same started doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter.

Uzair Hasan Rizvi, a journalist with news agency AFP tagged HDFC’s customer care handle on Twitter to register his protest. In the tweet, he said,

“Hello @HDFCBank_Cares this person Akshay Lahoti claims to work for @HDFCLIFE wants a referendum on religion. His post is both Islamophobic & Xenophobic. His views reflect hatred, as a Muslim, I will have to think twice before using ur services. Ppl like him will be biased to me.”

A reputed bank and a well-respected brand in its own right, was prompt enough to shun such views of an individual employee. In their official statement the bank said:

“A post has been brought to our attention on social media. The person in question is an employee of our group company . We’ve brought it to their notice for appropriate action.

As an organization, and as a group, we strongly condemn such divisive and insensitive comments.”

….And as the pattern has been prevailing under the Modi government in India, in an online mob attack, right-wing trolls took on the prestigious HDFC group running a hashtag #BoycottHDFC:

This is not the first time a mass online Boycott process has been orchestrated by the BJP and Hindutva trolls.

2016 – #BoycottSnapdeal

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan’s comments on perceived intolerance in the country made him and the e-commerce giant target of severe criticism. Following the remarks, many netizens vented their frustration on social networks and even deleted Snapdeal’s app to show protest against the company.

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Snapdeal decided not to renew its contract with Aamir Khan and also distanced itself from the remark, saying the comments made by the actor were “in his personal capacity” and it was in no way connected with them.

April 2019 – #BoycottVistara

Air Vistara faced massive backlash on Twitter, with ‘Boycott Vistara’ trending online, after the official Twitter account of the airline posted a photo with Major General GD Bakshi and then deleted it.

Air Vistara faced massive criticism on Twitter after it posted a photo of its cabin crew with Major General (Retd) GD Bakshi, and then deleted it. Photos: Twitter/airvistara

Among the most influential Twitter users who helped #BoycottVistara trend, was BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, whose claim to fame was slapping Activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan in 2011. Bagga wrote,

“. @airvistara deleted Honourable @adgpi Officer General GD Bakshi Pic after Anti Army Gang Pressure. I will never travel on Air Vistara till thn they tweet Pic again & apologies , RT if you will #BoycottVistara.”

A particular leader may enjoy popularity, but the precedents set using social media as a mass tool attack reputed brands, is surely going to make us an uncivilized society soon.



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