A social media campaign has been launched to uninstall and downgrade travel portal MakeMyTrip’s mobile application in response to two tweets by the company’s co-founder and strategic adviser Keyur Joshi on the issue of beef. Joshi had on Wednesday tweeted that he was a “strong supporter of Narendra Modi” and a vegetarian, but will eat beef “to support freedom for food”. “#beefban if Hinduism takes away right to choice of food, i rather not be a Hindu. @narendramodi @BJP4India cant decide what people eat,” he said in another tweet.
Although Joshi deleted the tweets later, and even his Twitter account, BJP supporters started tweeting with the hashtag #BoycottMakeMyTrip and asked others to uninstall the company’s mobile application and give it the lowest possible rating on the mobile app store. The hashtag trended on Twitter for a while. Those who tweeted with the hashtag included at least six people who the PM follows on Twitter using his personal account. One of them is Niraj Dave — among the first to start using the hashtag against MakeMyTrip Wednesday.
Before deleting his Twitter account, Joshi wrote, “The views expressed in my tweets regarding #beefban were my personal thoughts only, I deeply regret any unintentional inconvenience or hurt cause to anybody. I sincerely apologize for this and withdraw my comments unconditionally.” The company tweeted a statement, distancing itself from Joshi’s initial tweets. It said: “The views expressed by Mr Joshi on Twitter are his personal thoughts & do not reflect the views of MMT. He is not a current employee of MMT.”
But even 24 hours after the statement by the company, BJP supporters continued their campaign against it. People tweeted screenshots of the uninstalled app, one-star ratings and negative reviews of the mobile application. A text message to Deep Kalra, founder and CEO of MakeMyTrip, elicited no response.
In a similar incident, a campaign had been launched against e-commerce platform Snapdeal after its brand ambassador Aamir Khan spoke about perceived acts of intolerance in the country at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2015.