Indian chapters of major multi-national companies issue apology in the past week for the social media messages posted by their Pakistani counterparts in support of the Jammu and Kashmir.
On February 5, when Pakistan observes Kashmir Solidarity Day in support of the ‘Kashmiri Separatists’ the Pakistani franchisee of the top companies like KFC, Domino’s Pizza, Hyundai, Honda, Maruti Suzuki, Kia Motors took their social media and post messages in support of the Kashmir.
However this wasn’t taken well in India and soon the netizens in country started boycott calls for these companies and demanded public apology from their Indian counterparts.
A Twitter account of a Hyundai dealer in Pakistan with the handle @hyundaiPakistanOfficial had posted a message supporting Kashmir Solidarity day, supporting what it called a “struggle for freedom”.
Following the post, #BoycottHyundai trended on Twitter in India with many users asking people to stop buying the company’s products in the country.
Hyundai India later responded stating that it had “zero tolerance” to such communication and added that the said post was “offending its commitment” to India and that it strongly condemned any such view.
However it didn’t end here.
Indian Government summons the South Korean ambassador to lodge a strong protest over the matter. India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also raised this issue with the South Korean counterpart over the telephone.
“The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs yesterday 7th February 2022. The strong displeasure of the Government on the unacceptable social media post by Hyundai Pakistan was conveyed to him. It was highlighted that this matter concerned India’s territorial integrity on which there could be no compromise. We expected the Company to take appropriate action to properly address these issues,” reads the response to the media queries issued by the ministry’s official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
The Apology Comes Amid Public Anger
Sensing the growing public anger in India over the social media posts by their Pakistani counterparts, the India chapters of these major MNCs took to their official social media handles to issue the public apology and distanced themselves from the viewpoint of their Pakistan based franchisee.
— Hyundai India (@HyundaiIndia) February 6, 2022
We deeply apologize for a post that was published on some KFC social media channels outside the country. We honour and respect India, and remain steadfast in our commitment to serving all Indians with pride.
— KFC India (@KFC_India) February 7, 2022
Kia India Statement: pic.twitter.com/FKiUI2PXxt
— Kia India (@KiaInd) February 8, 2022
This is the country we have called our home for the last 25 years, and we stand here to protect its legacy forever. We respect and honour everything the country has to offer. pic.twitter.com/8II6XuLxb0
— dominos_india (@dominos_india) February 8, 2022
Statement from Honda Motor Co., Ltd. pic.twitter.com/6huBKOllLY
— Honda Car India (@HondaCarIndia) February 8, 2022
Message from Suzuki Motor Corporation pic.twitter.com/q2xhUoyCP6
— Maruti Suzuki (@Maruti_Corp) February 8, 2022
— Toyota India (@Toyota_India) February 8, 2022
FADA Issues Statement
Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), the apex national body of the automobile Retail Industry in India, condemned condemned the action of the Pakistan based dealers of the Hyundai and Kia.
In a statement, FADA stated, “We strictly condemn the act of Hyundai Pakistan & Kia Pakistan for the tweets on Kashmir. We remain committed to our motherland and have written to both the companies in India to clear their stand on the same. We also urge the Ministry of Heavy Industries & SIAM India to seek clarifications. Kashmir is India’s integral part & will continue to remain so till eternity. Jai Hind!”
— FADA (@FADA_India) February 7, 2022