In a Facebook post on January 5, Mariwala, who has a net worth of $1.7 billion, recalled the ordeal. (Photo Credit: Kishore Mariwala/Facebook)
As the protests continue over the citizenship law across India, looks like the global reputation of the country has taken a beating or so feels industry legend Kishore Mariwala. In a recent Facebook post that has gone viral, Mariwala of the Marico family, narrated his shocking experience during a holiday in Thailand. What Mariwala told social media was an account of skewed perception that goes against the very grain of India’s ethos of unity in diversity and multi-polarity. What is surprising is the fact that this is one of the rare occasions when an industrialist has spoken about an issue, which has deep political resonance.
In a Facebook post on January 5, Mariwala, who has a net worth of $1.7 billion, recalled the ordeal. “I was ashamed! I have come to Phuket, Thailand for a sailing holiday. I have chartered a yacht with a skipper for sailing for a week. On arrival here yesterday, I went to the chartering company’s office to finalise the arrangements. At the office, the receptionist took down all the necessary details & then asked me : “Sir, you are from India. Are you a Hindu”? I said “yes, why are you asking this”? She just called her boss, the manager. He came out & they both talked something in Thai language,” the Facebook post said.
Mariwala went on to say that, “The manager turned to me and said “Sir, all our skippers except one have gone with our other yachts. The only one left is a Muslim. I hope you don’t mind that”. I was shocked and asked “why are you asking this? Why should I mind?” “Sir”, he said, “we read in the newspapers that Hindus don’t want Muslims near them so we were worried about it”! I was ashamed beyond words. I explained to him that not only I, but most of the cultured Hindus don’t behave like what you must’ve read! IS THIS IS OUR REPUTATION ABROAD- AMONGST COMMON PEOPLE? I was really ashamed.”
The post has gone viral at a time when the country is witnessing protests over CAA and NRC. The agitation erupted after the Narendra Modi government passed the contentious legislation in Parliament on December 11. Two days later, President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent and making it a law on December 13. The Citizenship Act grants Indian nationality to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs who fled Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan in half the time of other groups if they can argue they suffered religious discrimination in their country of origin.