New Delhi, First Published Feb 6, 2022, 11:20 PM IST
South Korean automaker Hyundai Motors found itself in the wrong gear and headed on a collision course after it rode alongside Pakistan’s anti-India propaganda over Kashmir and refused to apologise or even express regret for it.
Trouble began when Hyundai Motors Pakistan took to its social media handles to support Pakistan’s Kashmir Solidarity Day, which has been Islamabad’s tactic to spread anti-India sentiment across the world through its engineered take on the situation in Kashmir.
The post went viral immediately with Indians calling out the South Korean firm for their act. However, even after receiving flak from the Indian political class and netizens over its support to Pakistan’s sponsored propaganda warfare, the automaker did not apologise for its partner’s deed in Islamabad and tried to underplay the anger in India.
For Hyundai, India is the second-largest market in the world. As per the data, the South Korean giant sells over 5 lakh cars of all variants in the Indian market in 2021 and exported over 1.25 lakh vehicles. It has 16 per cent of domestic market share and around $6 billion of turnover. In Pakistan, it had sold around 2 lakh cars only.
Stating that India is Hyundai brand’s second home, the car manufacturer said, “The unsolicited social media post linking Hyundai Motor India is offending our unparalleled commitment and service to this great country.”
On controversy around the social media post on the Kashmir issue by its dealers in Pakistan, it said, ‘We have a zero-tolerance policy towards insensitive communication and we strongly condemn any such views.’
Kia Motors, which is also owned by Hyundai Motors, also posted a similar post on its social media platforms. The political fraternity across the party lines and civil society has urged to boycott the car marker in the country.
Just yesterday, Kashmiris had hit the streets in large numbers to expose Pakistan’s Kashmir Solidarity Day charade. They asked the Pakistani leadership to stop sending the terrorists into Jammu & Kashmir and stop peddling fake propaganda against the government.
On the same day, Hyundai Pakistan shared posts on Facebook and Twitter in solidarity with the ‘Kashmiri brothers’ in their ‘struggle for freedom’. Within hours in India, the netizens started trending #BoycottHyundai on Twitter. With the company refusing to apologise for its act, the anger among people has grown manifold.
Senior Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said, “If Kia and Hyundai feel this way about Kashmir maybe we in India should all help them move out of here. They can stand in solidarity with Pakistan and its stance. They both should apologise for this shameful stand.”
“I call upon my countrymen to kick Hyundai India where it hurts the most, i.e. bottom line. After earning billions in India it has the gall to needle us. By the way, I dare any executive of this moronic company to join me for a debate on Kashmir and its history. Boycott Hyundai,” BJD leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sujeet Kumar said in a tweet.
Former minister in the Arvind Kejriwal government and now a BJP leader, Kapil Mishra said, “Dear Hyundai India, get this deleted and apologise for the same. This will have very serious consequences for their business and brand in India.”
Delhi BJP spokesperson Ajay Sehrawat in a tweet said, “Shameful statement by Hyundai India. This is insensitive & arrogant.”
Hyundai has been in the Indian market for the last 25 years and probably for the first time the carmaker is facing flak.
Last Updated Feb 6, 2022, 11:20 PM IST