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Zomato controversy: ‘Vikash’ from Tamil Nadu with 6 tweets stirred up a storm, why we find it highly suspicious

How one guy with seemingly zero digital footprints stirs up a storm over missing pepper chicken and 'Hindi imposition'

Here is what happened. On Monday evening, one Twitter user ‘Vikash’ with zero tweets till then raised a grievance with food delivery platform Zomato.

Vikash’s tweet

Vikash was upset that as a person consuming Zomato services in Tamil Nadu, one customer care executive casually mentioned that a Tamil Nadu restaurant owner might know a bit of a Hindi. You see, Zomato executive was unable to resolve the grievance as per Vikash’s liking mainly due to language barrier and ‘Vikash’ was triggered.

So triggered that he logs in to an account he created in May 2021, where he had zero tweets and decides to lash out on Zomato. In subsequent tweet he tags all DMK leaders (ruling party in Tamil Nadu), chief minister’s office, some media houses and a few other DMK leaders. Clearly, Vikash wanted the politicians to get involved because he didn’t get his pepper chicken.

Zomato then responded and apologised and asked him to get in touch over a private message.

Vikash

But Vikash would not be bogged down. Vikash insisted that he get public apology from the customer care executive who ‘accused him a liar’ and ‘asked him to learn Hindi’. Now, if you look at the angry exchange between ‘Vikash’ and the Zomato executive, one can see ‘Vikash’ was informed by the agent that the restaurant has not conveyed it to them that they will waive off the money for missing pepper chicken.

The Zomato executive explains that she tried but could not get through with the restaurant owner because of language barriers. This triggered ‘Vikash’ who was upset that a non-Tamil speaking executive was handling Tamil Nadu region. After seemingly misplaced entitlement, perhaps the executive lost her cool and mentioned how Hindi is a national language and one expects people in India to understand at least little bit of Hindi. Hindi being national language is a debate and topic for another time. However, this response made ‘Vikash’ so so so furious that he immediately took screenshots and decided to take out his anger on Twitter.

Going by his account, he had made no prior tweets, but he knew exactly how and whom to tag in his grievance. As per the screenshots shared by him, the agent didn’t really call him a liar and didn’t really ask him to learn Hindi. I would have given him benefit of doubt of language barrier that he did not understand English that well, but then since he didn’t give one to the agent, he perhaps doesn’t deserve one either.

Eventually, over the alleged ‘Hindi imposition’, people started boycotting Zomato. So Zomato swooped in and said they have fired the executive.

Vikash at it

But Vikash was not satisfied. He demanded clarification from Zomato on the company’s stand about their executive’s statement on Hindi. So was ‘Vikash’ really that upset over missing pepper chicken or was it the ‘Hindi imposition’ that got his goat.

Still angry, he demanded yet another clarification.

Vikash still upset

“Hindi is not our national language,” Vikash continued to demand. Just to reiterate, the agent, from the screenshots shared by ‘Vikash’, did not really disrespect Tamil. But it really seems like language barrier (or prejudice) that got the better of ‘Vikash’.

Vikash’s demands

And then, a couple of hours after the agent was terminated, ‘Vikash’ again tweeted how along with the ‘clarification’ that ‘Hindi is not our national language’ and that perhaps Zomato should also publicly make ‘Vikash’ happy by announcing the same.

Is ‘Vikash’ really Vikash?

‘Vikash’ is not that common a name in Tamil Nadu. In fact, at the risk of stereotyping, it is more of a ‘North Indian’ name. I know at least two ‘Vikash’ from UP-Bihar who spell their name with an extra ‘h’. Vikas is to UP-Bihar as Senthil is to Tamil Nadu. So, is it possible that this ‘Vikash’ is someone’s fake account which they used to stir up the storm? Because tweeting these things from their original account, with their real name, might be bad optics?

Amusingly, the account got so many retweets in such short span of time, it is likely some popular account retweeted. One may wonder if this ‘Vikash’ is an alt account of such popular Twitter user who was too coward to use his/her real name?

There are a lot of times when some Twitter users want to hide behind the cloak of anonymity and say unpleasant things to other people or hurl abuses because they are too coward to face consequences and use their real name. In fact, there were times during COVID pandemic obscure Twitter accounts with hardly any followers tweeted unverified information asking for help, offering for help. When authorities traced these accounts, they were found to be fake accounts. So when some people can create chaos amid pandemic for their own idea of fun or for their political gains, who is to say ‘Vikash’ is just one such account propped up to stir up the ‘Hindi imposition’ controversy in the time of instant social media gratification.

Meanwhile, Zomato has reinstated the agent who was fired over the controversy saying that this kind of mistake did not deserve such a harsh punishment and that it can be a learning experience for her.

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Nirwa Mehta
Nirwa Mehtahttps://medium.com/@nirwamehta
Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.

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