India faced condemnation from as many as 15 nations over comments on Prophet Muhammad by two BJP leaders – Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal. Qatar was among those who demanded an apology and told India envoy Deepak Mittal that such remarks may lead to “prejudice and marginalisation, which will create a cycle of violence and hate”.
While the government was trying to defuse the diplomatic crisis, ‘#BycottQatarAirways’ started trending on Twitter on Monday after many people began airing their views under the hashtag.
A few Twitter users claimed that Qatar was targeting Indians, so people should get together to boycott Qatar Airways.
— Vashudev (@thevashudevIND) June 6, 2022
— 🏹𝐒𝐇𝐘𝐀𝐌 𝐕𝐈𝐑 𝐒𝐈𝐍𝐆𝐇🇮🇳 (@Shyam_Vir_Singh) June 6, 2022
There were a few who saw the funny side of the tweets as well.
“People who have never bought a plane ticket in their life are writing on Twitter #BycottQatarAirways,” wrote one.
People who have never bought a plane ticket in their life are writing on Twitter #BycottQatarAirways
— Prof Shaikh Sadeque (@TSP_President) June 6, 2022
I support #BycottQatarAirways wholeheartedly, will never use their services. I will always prefer Haryana Roadways while flying from Rohtak to Peeragarhi.🚩
— Rofl Gandhi 2.0 🏹 (@RoflGandhi_) June 6, 2022
Nupur Sharma had made the comments on Prophet Muhammad during a TV debate last week while Naveen Jindal posted a tweet about the Prophet, which he later deleted.
The BJP has suspended Nupur Sharma while Naveen Jindal has been expelled from the party. The party said it was “strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion” and “does not promote such people or philosophy”.
Facing backlash from a large number of nations, the government said that it respects all religions. In a statement, the foreign ministry said the comments “did not, in any way, reflect the views of the government. These are the views of fringe elements”.