Lulu Hypermarket had earned plaudits from people both in India and the gulf countries in August this year when they sacked a Keralite, who had poked fun at flood victims. The group had dismissed one Rahul Cheru Palayattu, who worked at the company’s branch in Oman as a cashier after he made fun of sanitary needs of the flood victims on Facebook.
Two months on, the popular supermarket chain owned by Yusuff Ali MA, who too hails from Kerala, has sacked another employee, this time for posting derogatory remarks on social media about women pilgrims wanting to enter the Sabarimala temple.
The man fired has been identified as Deepak Pavithram, who worked with Lulu Hypermarket in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. He had allegedly posted misogynistic and insensitive remarks about women on social media. According to several reports, he had mocked Lord Ayyappa, saying that he could now choose women of any age group to his liking since all age groups will be allowed in the temple now.
He has now deleted his post.
“We have a strict and zero tolerance policy with regard to our staff misusing social media to spread malicious or derogatory comments which might hurt religious sentiments,” V Nandakumar, Chief Communications Officer at Lulu Group, told Khaleej Times.
“All GCC nations are home to a large cosmopolitan population from almost all countries in the world and we respect their sentiments, culture and religious beliefs,” Nandakumar said.
His comments had evoked angry reactions from Keralites on social media, where they demanded stringent action against Pavithram. Goons outside Sabarimala had violently attacked women including female journalists near the temple. While the violent protesters prevented the entry of women, they also thrashed female journalists by attacking their cars.
This despite the Supreme Court’s ruling on 28 September that women will be allowed entry into Sabarimala temple in Kerala.