Indian restaurant search and delivery service Zomato has been praised on social media for its response to a Hindu customer who refused to take a delivery from a driver who appeared to be of Muslim heritage.
Twitter user @NaMo_Sarkaar told his followers: "Just cancelled an order on @ZomatoIN they allocated a non Hindu rider for my food they said they can't change rider and can't refund on cancellation I said you can't force me to take a delivery I don't want don't refund just cancel."
He also posted a second tweet with a screengrab of his conversation with customer service on the app asking to change the rider and explaining: "We have shravan and I don't need a delivery from a Muslim fellow."
Shravan is a Hindu holy month devoted to the god Lord Shiva.
@NaMo_Sarkaar was advised in the private message that it would cost 237 rupees (£2.83, $3.44) to cancel his delivery, which was to take place in Jabalpur in central India, at that point in time.
He then took to Twitter to make his complaint but the person running the @ZomatoIn Twitter account posted: "Food doesn't have a religion. It is a religion", generating thousands of likes and retweets.
The company's founder Deepinder Goyal also took to Twitter to support the stance, stating: "We are proud of the idea of India - and the diversity of our esteemed customers and partners. We aren't sorry to lose any business that comes in the way of our values."
@NaMo_Sarkaar told his followers: "@ZomatoIN is forcing us to take deliveries from people we don't want else they won't refund and won't co-operate I am removing this app and will discuss the issue with my lawyers."
While a minority did respond to Zomato's tweet agreeing with his reaction, generally he has come under an immense degree of criticism, with others on Twitter advising him to cook his own food, especially during the auspicious month.
If you ask me who I am, I will say I am an Indian, a son,a father, a businessman, a Hindu...my being Hindu is only one aspect of my identity. Yet world over, identity is being defined by narrow confines of religion at cost of all other identities.— Harsh Goenka (@hvgoenka) July 31, 2019
It’s a dangerous trend!
Twitter user @kskiyer responded to the original tweet, stating: "Absolutely rubbish. If you are so particular about Shravan, cook at home, don't order outside."
Well said! Rare to find corporate voices publicly rejecting the growing hate and bigotry. 👏👏— SamSays (@samjawed65) July 31, 2019
And @Chandral_ said: "Seriously? What if the chef was a Muslim? What if the one who packed your order was a Sikh? What if they bought ingredients from a Christian? From the farm to your doorstep, the food could've been touched by anyone. You shouldn't be ordering online if you are concerned about it."