Every year, since 1990, 5th Feb is celebrated as Kashmir Solidarity Day. It has been noticed since 2021 that a few globally recognized MNCs are writing about the Kashmir issue on their Twitter handles. Two of the well-known MNCs, Hyundai Pakistan and Kia Motors made a tweet, supporting Kashmiris saying, “Let us remember the sacrifices of our Kashmiri brothers and stand-in support as they continue to struggle for freedom”.
Gradually other companies were also seen with this same kind of tweet. Companies include KFC, PizzaHut, Hyundai, Deawoo Battery (last year, 2021), Isuzu D-Max (last year, 2021), Bosch Pharmaceuticals (last year, 2021) Atlas Honda Limited Kia Motors Crossroads-Hyderabad. The controversy initially began with Hyundai and Kia Motors groups and went on for a while.
KFC- Similarly to Hyundai groups, KFC’s Pak Facebook group posted “Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris”. This raised a deep sense of hatred and people responded with “Shame on you KFC”.
PizzaHut- PizzaHut said, “We Stand with you. Kashmir Solidarity Day”. Their Instagram read, “This Kashmir Solidarity day, let’s join hands and stand united for the freedom of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters.”
Kia Motors- Kia group made a post-reading, “We stand United for the freedom of Kashmir. #KashmirDay #5Feb,” on Saturday. And also, it supported the same propaganda last year with the same intentions as today.
Hyundai- After the tweet, within 12 hours Hyundai India received 3000 cancellations of car orders. To cover the damage the Hyundai group wrote an apology highlighting that the motor groups will not have the same driving forces as seen this year. The ‘Boycott Hyundai’ became popular on social media.
Apologies from the Companies
After Hyundai India, its parent company Hyundai Motor has issued a statement Tuesday saying that it does not comment on “political or religious issues in any specific region”, and that it “deeply regrets” any offence caused to Indians. The move is a step to further distance itself from a Hyundai dealer in Pakistan who shared a tweet offering solidarity with Kashmir.
In its new statement, the company said it was “clearly against” its policy that an independently-owned distributor in Pakistan made “unauthorized” Kashmir-related social media posts from their accounts. It also said that its Indian subsidiary is not associated with the distributor in Pakistan.