Atul Kochhar, a popular Indian-origin chef in the United Arab Emirates, was today sacked by a Dubai hotel after he courted controversy by posting an anti-Islam tweet that caused outrage on social media.
Kochhar, 48, the second Indian to receive a Michelin star, is well known for his Rang Mahal restaurant at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai. He caused a furore after taking a dig at Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra over an episode in American television series ‘Quantico’ that purportedly portrayed Hindu nationalists as terrorists.
Atul Kochhar weighed in on the Quantico debate on Twitter, upsetting many of his customers and fans in the process.
Business Bay hotel JW Marriott Marquis has terminated its contract with celebrity chef Atul Kochhar following a controversial tweet, where he said “Hindus have been terrorised by Islam for 2000 years”.
The hotel, which houses the Rang Mahal restaurant set up by Kochhar, said: “Following the recent comments made by Chef Atul Kochhar, we have taken the decision to end our agreement with him for Rang Mahal. With the termination of our agreement, Chef Atul will no longer be associated with the restaurant and the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai.
At the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai we pride ourselves on creating a culture of diversity and inclusion for our guests and associates across the hotel and our restaurants. We also remain committed to delivering the traditional culinary experience and high service standards that Rang Mahal is renowned for.”
Rang Mahal is a high-end halal Indian restaurant
The controversy started with Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra. The actress may not have written, directed or decided in any way that her Quantico character should foil a plan by Hindu extremists to frame terrorists from Pakistan for an attack on Kashmir, but she faced flak for it all the same.
She has since apologised. The Kashmir issue is, without a doubt a sensitive one, but by apologising the actress has arguably justified being trolled for what is essentially fiction.
Meanwhile, Kochhar faced a backlash – from his Muslim and Hindu patrons alike – for the tweet he dashed off on June 10: “It’s sad to see that you have not respected the sentiments of Hindus,” the 47-year-old restaurateur lamented, followed by a bizarre and largely inaccurate “[Hindus] who have been terrorised by Islam over 2000 years”, followed by a rather juvenile “shame on you”.
What he said
“The decision by JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is deeply upsetting, however I fully accept the great pain I have caused and the difficult position the hotel has been put in,” he wrote in an emailed statement to Gulf News tabloid!.
“I have great respect for JW Marriott and in particular their staff in Dubai and wish the hotel well for the future. I hope my friends and well-wishers in Dubai will forgive me and continue to support me in the future,” he continued.
And after this decision many people on Twitter , tweet against this intolerable act of JW Marriott using #boycottmarriott hashtag
I am a silver member of Marriott group of hotels. I was planning on booking my stay at @JWMarriottPune for a couple of days but now looking for other options.
Let's show @JWMarriott the power of common people#BoycottMarriott pic.twitter.com/q3hnzFGGaO
— Sumit Agarwal (@sumit138) June 13, 2018
Just can't imagine what would have happened if Hindus were not in majority and Bharat was Islamic Sharia ruled country ? Saying "for 1000's of years Islamists invaders looted and tortured Hindus in Bharat" would be bigotry? Who said #Dubai is cosmopolitan state? #BoycottMarriott
— Kailash Wagh 🇮🇳 (@kailashwg) June 13, 2018
.@JWMarriott you have shown your utter ignorance of Indian history & intolerance towards the FoE of a #Hindu @atulkochhar
Inclusion of cultures does not mean destroying one man's life for stating FACTS. Did he refuse to serve a Muslim or was rude to them? NO.#BoycottMarriott
— Arti Agarwal (@arti_agarwal) June 13, 2018
this is unacceptable @Marriott .. u hurt millions of Indians .. one tweet make him jobless then we have to re think do business with u next.. #BoycottJWDubaiMarquis. #boycottMarriott https://t.co/9sXkE1p82C
— NayaN (@nayanchandra) June 13, 2018