What does the Zomato Delivery Incident tell us about the Indian Society?

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The Incident

Zomato, the online food delivery service operating in almost all cities and towns of India recently appeared as a newsmaker, out of a controversial delivery order they received from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. 

The man who had placed the order with Zomato wanted the food to be delivered by a Hindu rider. As soon as the employees of Zomato declined his demand, the man wanted to cancel the order and claim a refund. But as they declined it and replied politely that they can't discriminate against people on the basis of their religion while taking food orders and delivering them, the man tweeted against bad service by Zomato that they aren't providing him with refunds for the cancelled order.

Social Media Reactions

Very soon, Zomato through its official account posted the man's tweet and replied 'Food doesn't have a religion it is a religion'. Soon after this, Deepinder Goyal, the founder of Zomato food delivery services too joined the conversation as he 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'. 

Within no time the topic turned out to be a matter of discussion and trended on social media. Media was flooded with different opinions regarding the topic. Many people came in support of Zomato and applauded their reaction to the man’s complaint, but a large chunk of the Indian social media space was against them as well. People started to give 1-star ratings to Zomato to degrade it. Uber Eats, a food delivery app similar to Zomato, which came in support of it, had to face the dissent of the protestors alike and its ratings took a hit as well. 

Food for thought about the Indian Society

But this is not the first time such an incident has taken place. Cases similar to the Zomato case have been happening in our country. An event similar to this had happened with Ola Cabs, one of the biggest car services in India. A customer had refused to ride in a cab because of the driver belonging to different religious ethnicity. 

We have been left to think about the strength of secularism in India. We have been proudly saying that our country has a huge cultural diversity and it is home to people who belong to different castes, creeds and religions, but, have we been able to sustain peace while boasting about the cultural diversity our country has. The answer is sad No. 

A double-faced India

India is a country where people are not just discriminated against on the basis of religion, but mass killings and riots have taken place in the name of it. Every single day, an issue on religious and caste-based discrimination pops out in newspapers and social media. We have entered the 21st century where India has taken huge strides to be a global superpower but religious discrimination along with other aspects such as corruption and poverty pull us down. 

India is a country which showed the world what it is capable of by launching Chandrayaan 2, but it is also the same country where people choose to refuse services offered by people from a different religious ethnicity. It is a nation which has one of the largest security forces in the world, but it is also the country which has witnessed the most destructive riots in the name of religion, such as the Godhra Train Burning and the Gujarat Riots that followed. The Ayodhya dispute further highlights, how a religious dispute can become a national issue in our country. 

What steps do we need to take?

We discuss so much that we should promote secularism in the nation and peace should be promoted at all costs, but what have we done beyond that. Whenever any issue comes up, we indulge in debates on social media, pressing the like button, or taking people down on comments, but we haven’t done anything beyond that. 

There is an urgent need that we, as responsible citizens of our nation, start taking concrete steps to promote peace in the nation. We shouldn’t just preach, but act. Greater public awareness and impartial civil society participation should be achieved to build public opinion against communal hatred. The Government should also take decisions keeping in mind the interests of everyone. Institutions like the National Integration Council and other institutions for communal harmony must be re-invigorated by the state. The state and the centre should abide by their responsibilities of promoting religious harmony and protecting the life of the citizens. 


The Zomato incident left us with a lot to reflect on, and the tweet of Mr Deepinder Goyal was like an eye-opener. Food doesn't have a religion, it is a religion. Food, water, air, shelter, these are the basic necessities of man, and when people mix them with religion, caste, race they fail to identify themselves as human beings. Religion is a tag that has been associated with every human-being but the fact that each one of us is a human is above all. Being a human first is more important than being a Hindu, a Muslim or a Christian, and achieving religious harmony is very important, not just in the context of our local society, but in the context of the state, the nation and the world.

- Ajay Sreeram 

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What does the Zomato Delivery Incident tell us about the Indian Society?  What does the Zomato Delivery Incident tell us about the Indian Society? Reviewed by EMN on August 05, 2019 Rating: 5

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