DUBAI – Social media was left feeling disheartened and furious when Indian born British based chef, Atul Kocchar, disregarded the sentiments of many by posting an anti-Islam comment on Twitter.
His comment was a reply to Priyanka Chopra’s tweet and soon afterwards he was condemned for slurs of racism, bigotry and Islamophobia.
The Michelin-starred chef was running the award-winning Rang Mahal Indian restaurant at Dubai’s JW Marriott Marquis Hotel.
“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,” Bill Keffer, general manager of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai said in a statement to Gulf News.
“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.” he added.
The post had earlier gone viral and demands to sack the chef were flowing in. People threatened to no longer visit the hotel if Atul remained as a part of the business.
Atul has since then issued two apologies but his efforts are now in vain
There is no justification for my tweet, a major error made in the heat of the moment on Sunday. I fully recognise my inaccuracies that Islam was founded around 1,400 years ago and I sincerely apologise. I am not Islamophobic, I deeply regret my comments that have offended many.
— Atul Kochhar (@atulkochhar) June 11, 2018
— Atul Kochhar (@atulkochhar) June 12, 2018
This is the perfect example of “you cannot take your words back”. Forgiveness clearly does not come easy to the ones who are genuinely hurt by the carelessness of another. And it definitely won’t come easy when you manage to offend an entire religion and more.
"Forgive him since he is asking for it". Are you dumb?! What kind of demand is that? For forgiveness? Forgiveness is up to the person you are asking from.
— Virtually Tangible (@Virtuallytangib) June 13, 2018
People are convinced Atul’s apology comes due to his career being sabotaged
Really respected Atul.. but a translation of this tweet:
"I didn't realise my tweet would be picked up on and I hope my businesses isn't damaged too much, but I still hold this hidden hatred"
— Riise's Left Foot (@EngDawahLeague2) June 12, 2018
We appreciate your apology. YOU and the like of you ARE THE FINANCIERS OF HATEFUL PERSECUTION OF INDIAN MUSLIMS. We demand you be removed from contact w us Muslims. YOUR FINANCING of RSS/BJP HAS BEEN A V LONG THOUGHT OUT PROCESS U HAVE ENGAGED IN FOR DECADES. Thnx.
— Pari (@parzaneh) June 12, 2018
In profession like you its food, culture, hospitality and the Words that change the world, unite the world..choose wisely..👍
— Gopi Shah (@gops333) June 13, 2018
With this kind of hate within you, don’t you think your life is hell by being within and serving the same community you hate till guts. What is the purpose of your being?
— Wasim Ahmad (@WasimAh30) June 12, 2018
As I said in my comments – his original tweet indicates a misogynistic & Islamophobic mindset.
Hate tends to run together, and attacking South Asian women when they see outside the box doesn't surprise me.
— Mariam (@MariamKSHakim) June 13, 2018
Someone pointed out the turning tables
And when Priyanka apologised which she didn't have to, you weren't that nice to her, were you ?
As for me I am never gonna visit any of your food outlets coz your apology is just to save your restaurants and money.
Priyanka's views on terrorism was reel but your views are real
— Lιвєяαℓ Ƥяιηcєѕѕ (@fehmeenavoice) June 13, 2018
Someone adopted a lighter approach
Sir v used to see u as proud, nd used to love u nd respect u.
V ll forgoe u on ur apologize but v can't love u and give u same respect that u lost now. Yes v ll not hate u even though u carrying so muhc anger for us it's ur choice
Will pray 4 u may God show and give u right path
— CA Sabir Shaikh (@CASabirAzmat) June 12, 2018
We guess we cannot change someone’s mindset, each to their own but Atul clearly wouldn’t be hating publicly again.