Hyundai, the second-largest car manufacturer in India, has found itself amid unprecedented and harsh criticism from Indian users when a Hyundai dealer in Pakistan posted a message on the company’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts expressing “solidarity with Kashmir” and supporting the “struggle for freedom.”
‘Kashmir Solidarity Day is an annual propaganda cum national holiday marked on February 5 to demonstrate sympathy for Islamic terrorists and Kashmiri separatists operating from Indian territory.
The moment this tweet appeared, people got furiously angry with Hyundai management, who allowed a political tweet on such a sensitive issue. People started hammering Hyundai for this tweet and the hashtag #BoycottHyundai was trending on Twitter in India on Sunday, with many individuals requesting that the company’s products not be purchased in the nation.
“Let us remember the sacrifices of our Kashmiri brothers and stand in support as they continue to struggle for freedom,” the tweet read.
According to Twitter users, an account associated with Hyundai’s affiliate Kia Corp. also posted identical social media messages. Meanwhile, after getting such a massive backlash from millions of users, Hyundai pulled down these posts and posted a half-hearted apology cum diversion.
It seems this wasn’t enough for Hyundai, as it was accused of censoring Indian netizens who urged the company to tweet in favor of India, and who questioned whether they endorsed Hyundai Pakistan’s post. Hyundai India went on a blocking spree after Indian Twitter users attacked the firm over the tweet by Hyundai Pakistan.
Hundreds of users accused Hyundai India of blocking them for mere asking questions, and they posted screenshots of their comments and then showed how Hyundai blocked them for no reason whatsoever. Several angry Twitter users claimed that they would cancel their bookings with the Hyundai and prefer to go with other Indian car companies.
Later, Hyundai Motors India posted a statement on social media emphasizing its commitment to the Indian market. The company stands strongly for its “strong ethos” of honoring nationalism, according to a social media post. Hyundai Motor India’s “unsolicited” social media post, according to the firm, offends their unmatched devotion and service to “this great country.”
Hyundai India’s lethargic response failed to cut any ice with the Indian users, and they keep slamming the company for its shocking stand, as there was not even an iota of remorse in this statement.
Indians made Hyundai popular, but why it is behaving weirdly?
Hyundai Motor India is the second-largest carmaker in the country after Maruti Suzuki India. It has 12 models in its domestic market lineup. It has a healthy market share of 16.4% in India. The company sells a range of popular models in the local market – from sedan Verna to SUV Creta and hatchbacks i10,i20, and Santro.
The car maker’s domestic sales last year stood at 505,033 units, which is an increase of 19.2% over 423,642 units recorded in the year-ago period. The company’s exports rose 31.8% to 130,380 units in 2021. Hyundai is investing around Rs 4,000 crore to drive around six electric vehicles in India by 2028.
With such exceptional sales figures in India, it is quite visible how much popularity Hyundai has amassed for itself in a couple of decades. However, this also surprised us why Hyundai allowed this to happen if it considers India a second home?
Kia Motors, KFC, and Izuzu joins the Anti-Indian clamour
Joining Hyundai in its so-called tirade of standing for the freedom of Kashmir, Kia, KFC, and Isuzu Pakistan also posted similar content, which was far from the truth and more of ISI’s propaganda.
As expected, these MNC’s are also facing the heat of Indian social media users and calls have been made to boycott these brands as well.
We believe that brands must stay sensitive to key issues, national issues and respect public sentiments. This is absolutely shocking and ridiculous for a global brand like Hyundai to spread nefarious propaganda hatched by Pakistani terror groups and ISI.
The subject of Kashmir has no relevance whatsoever with the automotive business and Hyundai in general. It touches upon a geopolitical subject that should remain completely out of bounds for any commercial organization. We are living in a closely connected globalized world, where things can rapidly easily spiral out of control, and the same has happened in this case as well.
In this specific case, the global management of these brands must investigate and put forth the facts for the general public, and take corrective actions to ensure no such anti-India propaganda will spread again in the future. Kashmir is a sensitive issue for every Indian, and we will not allow anyone to play with it.
Here it is also important to notice that all such boycott campaigns are carried out by the citizens, the cancellation of booking or spreading the word of mouth, everything is taken care of by the citizens without any sort of benefits.
However, the most important role must be played by the Indian government. We are in complete agreement with famous Bollywood Director Vivek Agnihotri Ji, that government should ensure that every MNC must sign an agreement that they must maintain that Kashmir is an integral part of India.
Indian Government must take a tough stance and make these global MNC’s understand that they may make the local markets and customers happy, but not at the cost of India’s sensitivity and sovereignty. Any violation to this understanding must meet with severe consequences.