Following Qatar Airways’ response to Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal’s statements about the Prophet, a social media user called for a ‘bycott’ of the airline.
New Delhi: Following Qatar’s condemnation of former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal’s insults about the Prophet, #BycottQatarAirways trended on Twitter, and a spoof video of Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker became viral on social media in India. In response to Qatar’s censure, a Twitter user known as ‘Vashudev’ posted a video advocating for a boycott of Qatar Airways.
“I am against Qatar Airways,” Vasudev said adding that Qatar has already started laying off Indian people. “Boycott Qatar Airways because we should take a tit-for-tat move,” he said.
Following the video, the hashtag ‘BycottQatarAirways,’ which misspelt boycott, went popular, as did a fake video of Qatar Airways’ CEO pleading with Vashudev to drop his boycott request. The fake video depicted the CEO’s projected reply to the boycott call, which was directed at Al Jazeera.
With “fears of dark days ahead”, the CEO in the spoof video said as soon as he came across the boycott video, he cancelled all his meetings and straightaway flew to Qatar. “…Because our biggest shareholder Vashudev decided to boycott our airline from his headquarters which is the terrace of his house. He was having a power cut at that time in his neighbourhood. And he made that devastating video,” the CEO in the doctored video made for fun said.
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“Vashudev is our biggest shareholder with a total investment of 634 rupees and 50 paise. And we don’t know how to operate anymore and we have grounded all the flights… we are requesting Vashudev to take this call for boycott back,” he said.
“This is a special kind of boycott because it is b-y-c-o-t-t. Vashudev habibi, we are willing to give you one whole plane to make your TikTok videos or maybe we can give you two litres of petrol free,” he added.
“Once you come back from the railway track, please consider our offer and take the boycott back,” the CEO said in the spoof video.
The video received a lot of attention on social media, with many people unable to comprehend the boycott appeal.
Several Muslim countries, notably Qatar, have condemned Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal’s remarks about the Prophet, for which the BJP has taken legal action. While the BJP stated that it respects all religions and will take measures as a result, the external affairs ministry stated that the comments were made by fringe groups and not by the government.