Just as Indian politicians were criticising Twitter and Facebook for 'clamping down' free speech after they banned Donald Trump, Indian airlines GoAir has sacked one of its senior pilots for calling the PM an 'idiot' on Twitter.
According to the Indian Express, in a now deleted tweet, the pilot had said:
PM is an idiot. You can call me same in return. It’s ok. I don’t matter. Bcoz I am not PM. But PM is an idiot. Period.
Before locking his account, the pilot had also tweeted an apology on Twitter.
I apologise for my tweets about PM, other offensive tweets which may have hurt sentiments of anyone associated. I convey that GoAir is not associated with any of my tweets directly or indirectly as they were personal views.
According to reports, a GoAir spokesperson confirmed the sacking of the pilot and said:
GoAir has zero tolerance policy and it is mandatory for all GoAir employees to comply with the company’s employment rules, regulations and policies, including social media behaviour. The airline does not associate itself with personal views expressed by any individual or an employee. GoAir has terminated the services of the captain with immediate effect.
This sacking has caused quite an uproar on Twitter, with many believing that sacking the pilot over criticising the PM was a good thing to do.
Not a wrong step.— Alive | ध्रियमाण (@Dhriyamana) January 9, 2021
A Pilot with such aggressive behavior is danger to passengers.
For many MH 370 type incidents mental condition/ aggression of Pilots being probed.
Don't think & see it from only political angle but from Safety aspect as well.
The last thing I want to hear when I am flying is someone ranting political speech. This was the right thing to do!— Vader (@factfinder1970) January 11, 2021
However, there were many more who were extremely critical of this decision.
This is the tweet for which he has been sacked. In his tweet, he didn't mention which PM is an idiot, but even #GoAir— 𝘚𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘳𝘢𝘯 𝘋𝘢𝘴 (@Samiran__Das) January 11, 2021
Knows which PM he was talking about🤣🤣.#IdiotPMModi #IdiotPM https://t.co/Uzk6lBgO2G pic.twitter.com/SQdmpMxASs
GoAir pilot tweets 'PM is an idiot" (without specifying which PM)@goairlinesindia sacks him for calling Modi an idiot.— Ameya Kamat (@ameyakamat) January 11, 2021
Looks like GoAir was pretty sure which PM the pilot was talking about.
And yes, this senior pilot is a retired IAF veteran.
Now #IdiotPM is trending.
This doesn't seem like stopping anytime soon.