Days after poet and activist Bappadittya Sarkar faced an Uber driver who took him to the police station after overhearing a phone conversation about anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests, Twitter is up in arms.
In a post on Thursday, Kavita Krishnan took to Twitter to share the story. She in turn was quoting poet and activist Bappadittya Sarkar who had taken a cab from Mumbai's Juhu to travel to Kurla at night.
"As I got in the cab, I called a friend of mine and we were talking about protest cultures in different cities, what happened at Shaheen Bagh yesterday, people's discomfort with Laal Salaam and how we could make Jaipur's protests more effective," he narrates in the posted screenshots.
About 10-20 minutes in, the driver halted to ask if he could use the ATM and came back with two policemen.
The driver allegedly asked the police to take Sarkar in custody as "he was saying he was a Communist and was talking about burning the country".
"Police recorded statements of both but found nothing suspicious so let both go," Mumbai Police later told ANI. According to the statement tweeted by Krishnan, the police advised Sarkar not to carry the dafli or wear a red scarf, "as the atmosphere is not good and anything can happen".
Most are not sympathising with Sarkar. Using the hashtag 'ProudOfUberRohit', they took to Twitter to hail the actions of the driver.
As one Twitter user put it, Uber India should be giving a "special recognition award to Rohit for displaying courage to take a terrorist to police stn".
"He choose country's interest over his daily earnings. 5 star to him," the user added.
"Rohit realized that if doesn't act these people will be successful in buring down the streets of Mumbai, which he had to defend (sic)," wrote another.
Take a look at some of the reactions:
Not everyone however agreed. Offering a counterpoint, another user wrote, "How is talking against CAA anti nationali?! Isn't listening to your customers conversation and interfering in it anti-uber-policy @UberINSupport !? Well not really #ProudofUberRohit. Shocked and will definitely have a sense of 'threat' ? when i uber next (sic)."
Another suggested that "Uber India should be taking strict action against this idiot" and that the company should screen their drivers better.
This is not the first incident that involves current and political issues and cab aggregators. Earlier in January this year, a Twitter user named Kanav Sharma took to the micro-blogging site to discuss an Ola ride that he had taken. Sharma alleged that the driver overheard his phone conversation about India’s economic situation and said that it was the Congress' foault of 70 years. One couldn't blame the current regime for the condition of the economy as it had been "only 6 years of Modi government", he said.
The cabbie also said, “Congress created JNU which is a prostitution 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.”
Sharma goes on to narrate that when he refuted the cabbie and asked him to check facts, he was called "one of those anti-national people who find everything wrong with the government."
"You must also be against CAA and NRC,” he quoted the driver as saying.
Interestingly, the social media reactions were similar. After Ola promised corrective action, Twitter protested the move, with the trending hashtag, 'BoycottOla'.