A man cancelled his food delivery order from Zomato on Tuesday because his delivery executive was a "non-Hindu". His tweet was widely condemned, even by Zomato, and now politicians have also reacted to the controversy.
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale has reacted sharply to the incident and said this is a "threat to the unity of the country."
"Ye samaj main phoot dalne wali ghatna hai (This incident is an attempt to create to rift in society)," Mr Athawale told NDTV and said an investigation must be launched into the matter.
Amit Shukla, who is from Madhya Pradesh, in a series of tweets, shared screenshots of his conversation with Zomato's customer care, saying he would take up the matter with his lawyers.
@ZomatoIN is forcing us to take deliveries from people we don't want else they won't refund and won't cooperate I am removing this app and will discuss the issue with my lawyers— पं अमित शुक्ल (@NaMo_SARKAAR) July 30, 2019
The man's tweet found a response from Zomato which was widely appreciated on Twitter.
"Food doesn't have a religion. It is a religion," Zomato responded.
Zomato's founder Deepinder Goyal had a firm message on the incident and tweeted, "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."
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also tweeted about the incident and said he respected "loved" the Zomato app.
Respect. I love your app. Thank you for giving me a reason to admire the company behind it. https://t.co/nohfkYsrJQ— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) July 31, 2019
Twitter was all praise for Zomato for rejecting "bigotry".
And @ZomatoIN loses one bigoted customer but wins a thousand plural hearts. Thank you! ♥️— Chirpy Says (@IndianPrism) July 31, 2019
Love when big organisations show spine and uphold the idea of India , these are trying times ????— Roshan Rai (@RoshanKrRai) July 31, 2019
Many, however, questioned Zomato for delivering "halal" food. Zomato issued a statement soon after a barrage of tweets.
Food for thought pic.twitter.com/zZ3k6YfuzI— Zomato India (@ZomatoIN) July 31, 2019
Omar Abdullah too tweeted on the matter.
"Actually @ZomatoIN just delivers the food ordered by the customer, it doesn't make choices for them so whether food is to be kosher, halal, veg, vegan or Jain has nothing to do with the app & it certainly doesn't force its choices down any throats. Where is the common sense?" he said.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, for his part, promised to support Zomato in the capacity of a customer. "I have not ordered food so far, but I think I will do so now from Zomato," he said.