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world / india

Dubai: Job seeker from Kerala told to join Shaheenbagh CAA protests

Keralite left aghast by prospective employer’s shocking response to job application

New Delhi: Women raise slogans during a protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI1_15_2020_000067B)
Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: A Keralite job seeker in Dubai has been left aghast after his prospective employer wrote back chiding him for looking for work and suggested that he should make a living (sic) by joining protestors in Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi.

Shaheen Bagh is the epicentre of ongoing mass demonstrations against India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.

Abdulla S.S., 23, who had applied for a mechanical engineer’s position in Dubai said he is still reeling from the shock of the email he got from UAE-based Indian expat Jayant Gokhale in response to his job application last week.

Offensive response to job application

“Just a thought. Why u need a job? Go to Delhi and sit in Shaheen Bagh for protest. Every day you will get Rs 1000. Free food i.e Biryani, Unlimited amount of Tea and Milk, some time sweets also,” Gokhale said in the email which has since gone viral.

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Scores have shared the email on social media seeking action against Gokhale who runs a consultancy in Dubai. Many said the email is offensive on two counts. First, it ridicules and discriminates a job seeker on the basis of his religious identity and, second, it undermines the credibility of Shaheen Bagh protestors by suggesting that they are being paid to sit in.

Abdullah said he’s sad and appalled. I shared Mr Gokhale’s email with some friends. Who would have thought it would go viral. I don’t want any controversy. All I want is a job,” he said.

Gokhale apologises

Talking to Gulf News over the phone, Gokhale said he’s suffering from ill-health and undergoing dialysis. “My email is being blown out of proportion. I didn’t mean what I wrote,” he said.

Gokhale also sent an email statement to Gulf News clarifying his stand.

“My message to candidate was not intended to hurt anyone in any manner or discriminate. I have already sent apology message to the concerned person [Abdullah],” he said in the email reproduced here ad verbum. “I very much value UAE’s outlook, policies and culture. I do not in anyway like to go against values of UAE. In fact I am very thankful to UAE for looking after my health,” he added.

Earlier this month, Amit Malviya, a leader of the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and head of its IT cell, tweeted a video where claims were made that the women protesters in Shaheen Bagh were “paid Rs 500 to 700” each.

The official twitter handle of Shaheen Bagh protest later quashed the claim as false.

Mistaken identity

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the Facebook profile photograph being erroneously circulated alongside Gokhale’s insensitive email is of another person by the same name who used to work as a plant manager at Gulf Steel Strands in Jebel Ali about four years ago.

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“My name is Jayant Gokhale alright, but I am not the same Jayant Gokhale who allegedly sent that email. It has been falsely attributed to me. The confusion arose because we share the same name and have Dubai connections. It’s a case of mistaken identity. I am under tremendous stress as I am getting abusive and threatening messages on Facebook messenger and LinkedIn since the past two days. I have lodged a complaint with Mumbai Police in this regard.” the other Gokhale told Gulf News over the phone from India. He also posted a clarification on Facebook and LinkedIn.