We hire only non-Muslims: Indian firm tells job-seeker

Published: May 21, 2015
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Khan gets rejected for being a Muslim while his friends get the job. PHOTO: IBN LIVE

Khan gets rejected for being a Muslim while his friends get the job. PHOTO: IBN LIVE

MUMBAI: About 15 minutes after applying for a job at a multinational company in Mumbai, MBA graduate Zeshan Ali Khan received a reply that left him in utter disbelief: “We regret to inform you that we hire only non-Muslim candidates.” 

Khan along with two of his non-Muslim friends applied for a marketing job with a multinational exports company, Hare Krishna Exports.

PHOTO: NDTV

However, while Khan failed to get the job, Mukund Mani and Omkar Bansode got the desired positions at the company but refused to join to protest against what they saw as religious discrimination.

PHOTO: ZESHAN ALI KHAN/FACEBOOK

In an interview with NDTV, Khan described his reaction and said “I was shocked. I took a screenshot and posted it on social media… Activists from across the country said I should go to the police and file a case of religious discrimination.”

Read: Muslims of Bihar donate land to build world’s largest Hindu temple

After the screenshot circulated swiftly on social media, Khan received another email from the company expressing ‘regret’ for the erroneous reply to the job application, further stating that “The Human Resource trainee who denied job to Zeshan Khan has been suspended.”

This article originally appeared on NDTV

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Reader Comments (74)

  • Indian
    May 21, 2015 - 3:24PM

    it is companies policy just like in pakistan no nonmuslim can become prime minister.Recommend

  • Indian
    May 21, 2015 - 3:26PM

    there is no discrimination here . just like in pakistan non muslim cannot become prime minister . some companies won’t hire muslims in india.
    also right to equal opportunities is only restricted to government employments.Recommend

  • ...
    May 21, 2015 - 3:32PM

    Here is your “Secular” India guys Recommend

  • faizan
    May 21, 2015 - 3:37PM

    Here comes the two nation theory into play .Recommend

  • Karachi Wally
    May 21, 2015 - 3:37PM

    Honestly at least I like their honesty and openness about sharing this. But point is if the MNC head office would subscribe to such approach, I doubt it if it is a western MNC. Recommend

  • fateh alam
    May 21, 2015 - 3:38PM

    Is this True colour of MODIS india,we all condem such actions victim of Religious hatred,Recommend

  • Thinker
    May 21, 2015 - 3:41PM

    Thats the answer to why our great leaders thought to have an independent country for their future generations.Recommend

  • nust
    May 21, 2015 - 3:55PM

    Such secularity, very democracy, much wow.Recommend

  • Toba Alu
    May 21, 2015 - 4:03PM

    Discrimination is utterly wrong. However the biggest market is the wedding market, and surprise surprise, non-Muslim men are denied access to the Muslim market. What a market distortion and humiliation.Recommend

  • saqib khan
    May 21, 2015 - 4:06PM

    Indian: Mr indian, Pakistan is an islamic country and only country which is made on the name of Religion Islam, so how would a non muslim become prime minister of an islamic state. Apart from this, Pakistan is not a company its a country. Companies in Pakistan are hiring Muslims and Non Muslims as there is no discrimination here, We respect other religions as we all are human beings so please stop discriminating between religions.Recommend

  • raw is war
    May 21, 2015 - 4:10PM

    Hare-Krishna exports is a private religious based organisation. So they may not be employing Muslims. But Wakf Boards in India also do not employ Hindus. Even though they are funded by Indian Government. A non story.Recommend

  • anne
    May 21, 2015 - 4:11PM

    @Indian:
    how exactly is holding the office of prime minister analogous to employment in a company? that’s an incredibly stupid comparison when one is (theoretically) subject to a nationwide mandate and the other is based, if the apology above is to be believed, on the whims and prejudices of a single HR trainee? Recommend

  • Ahmed
    May 21, 2015 - 4:11PM

    This company “Hare Krishna Exports” has fully justified partition of India!Recommend

  • kam
    May 21, 2015 - 4:11PM

    @ Indian

    how many muslims have become PM in India even though India does not impose such a restriction? Please dont give me examples like Manmohan Singh puppets of some nehru dynasty. Even no puppet muslim PM either and there is no remote chance in future. Recommend

  • jock
    May 21, 2015 - 4:13PM

    @Indian:
    Is this a frequently-cited reason in India? You make it sound like no big deal. You seem to know more about Pakistan than India, btw.Recommend

  • Timorlane
    May 21, 2015 - 4:14PM

    These non Muslims from india descend upon the Muslim countries in

    Midle East and Far East and are given jobs and promotions despite

    they being non Muslims and then they have the shamelessness to

    comment here on Pakistani websites about themselves being goodRecommend

  • SHR
    May 21, 2015 - 4:16PM

    @indian. mere bhai who told you that Pakistani parliament mai koi hindu nahi? we have non muslims in our parliament and also on managerial posts in different companies.Recommend

  • Indian Guy
    May 21, 2015 - 4:23PM

    Why such stupid things happen. Though happy to see the forceful response against this from every quarters. India is a secular country and we will keep pushing hard against attempts to harm this character of our country.Recommend

  • huzaifa
    May 21, 2015 - 4:30PM

    @Indian:

    Preposterous counter argument!
    You can not compare a private organization’s policy that with government institutions. Nonmuslim in government organization are reqruited as per the quota in conformity with their population.whereas Non Muslims are hired in private and multinational firms unbiasedly.Such racist policies are not practiced or supported.Recommend

  • LOL
    May 21, 2015 - 4:31PM

    @Indian; Please try to come up with a better argument. On one hand you guys boast India is a superpower miles ahead of Pakistan and Pak can never be compared to India. And whenever, such news come out, you try to argue that this happens in Pak as well. Lol, you people have no consistency or self-respect.Recommend

  • Hammad
    May 21, 2015 - 4:35PM

    @indian senseless justification as expected from you Indians. stop defending your ‘ secular ‘ India.and that’s because we’re an Islamic republic and don’t claim to be secular like India.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 21, 2015 - 4:36PM

    For Job Opportunities, every one should have equal rights. This case is a clear cut example of religious discrimination.
    As far as the case of prime minister of Pakistan is concern, be informed that it is “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. We have to follow constitution and follow at least one simple principle on the basis of which this country is formed. That is why comparing Job Openings with this constitutional post is irrelevant. Recommend

  • jock
    May 21, 2015 - 4:42PM

    To all those liberal fools who thought India was somehow better than us time to knock yourselves out. It takes news of this sort – and more so it’s vain defense – to tell us about this wretched lot, and not their own haughty, condescending mouths.Recommend

  • dsp
    May 21, 2015 - 4:42PM

    It has to happen, Govt cannot stop or dictate private sector on hiring policy. Yes such policies can not be announced but can be kept underground.
    Indian Muslims should collectively introspect, why it is happening now and in coming time it will happen in whole world. In western countries now muslims with Pakistani back ground are less likely to get good employments and they rename themselves to make it more with Indian looks.Recommend

  • dsp
    May 21, 2015 - 4:43PM

    In India right now, no one like to rent house/ appartment in hindu dominated community. It may take time but need to mend they ways to get assimilated in main stream and they need to come out as first Indian not a Pakistani or muslim.Recommend

  • Pravin
    May 21, 2015 - 4:44PM

    @Indian,
    The discrimination is wrong. Plain and simple. No need for any comparison.
    It is good to know that the company has acted. I hope the boy gets fair chance for appearance for interview and selection process. Kudos to his friends who refused to join in protest.
    -PravinRecommend

  • vijay ramesh
    May 21, 2015 - 4:47PM

    @Indian:

    It is wrong on the part of the company to state that that they hire only non-Muslims. This is totally wrong policy in a secular country like India where caste discrimination is illegal. Zeshan can go to the court and file a criminal suit against the company. Also you cannot generalize that caste discrimination is only in private companies because there are very few companies specially run by ‘Jain’ management who employ only ‘Jain’ persons who are pure ‘vegetarian’ and tally with all others in their behavior. Likewise there are few companies managed by ‘Muslims’ where they prefer to have Muslim staff only to have some kind of a synergy among all. This is primarily in small family run enterprises and not big companies. So lets not generalize it. In the Middle East some companies offer jobs to Muslims on the grounds of their being ‘Shia or Sunni’. Recommend

  • Blunt
    May 21, 2015 - 4:59PM

    Can’t thank enough for Quaid, Iqbal etc.Recommend

  • Adpran
    May 21, 2015 - 5:10PM

    If I were a job-seeker and I rejected by Indian company because they hire only Hindus, I could understand. But if I were rejected because they hire only non-Muslims, of course I would feel discriminated. Recommend

  • Muhammad Ghayas
    May 21, 2015 - 5:21PM

    @Indian:
    Pakistan does not claim to be secular. We are Islamic Republic Of Pakistan. That’s why someone from any other religion can not become a PM. Though, we have a quota system in all our Govt jobs for candidates on different grounds such as province, religion etc. You are right about the company policy though. Recommend

  • ramallah khan
    May 21, 2015 - 5:27PM

    @dsp:

    Also the same way there are some Muslim dominated areas all over India where an Hindu does not find a place to live. But I guess its more of a choice out of fear than anything else. Still there are many places where both the communities live in peace and harmony. Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    May 21, 2015 - 5:45PM

    It is the private companies right whom to hire. So, if they do not want to hire muslims, it is OK. Recommend

  • Yousuf Haider
    May 21, 2015 - 6:20PM

    @Zeeshan: this is called direct discrimination you knobheadRecommend

  • someone
    May 21, 2015 - 6:20PM

    @Ahmed:
    Indeed. The only problem is that most of the Muslims still stayed in India which was against the spirit of Partition. Also, the one who crossed over to Pakistan, are still called Mohajirs and are regular target of Pakistani army and establishment.Recommend

  • Imran
    May 21, 2015 - 6:43PM

    @Indian: there is a difference.

    Pakistan is Islamic Republic of Pakistan. at least we openly says there can’t be a non-Muslim PM.

    But India is the largest democracy and a so called SECULAR, how can this happen in India?? Where is SECULARISM now??

    Seriously with all the rapes going on in India you guys should better be calling yours a SEXULAR countryRecommend

  • Puskar
    May 21, 2015 - 7:20PM

    It is a private company and it’s their prerogative to hire to any one they want. This would be pure discrimination if public company or service denies employment to a non-Hindu, but private companies are well within their right to do so. As for Pakistanis, mind your own business and stop worrying about India.Recommend

  • Sajjad
    May 21, 2015 - 7:45PM

    @someone:
    do you mean Musharraf being army chief for 11 years straight, Abdul Basit being powerful Person in Foreign Office, 80% Employees of Multinationals in Karachi or do you mean Urdu being a national and official Language.

    My ancestors were from India , I was born in Karachi and I am proud of living like a first class citizen, not sure what exactly are you talking about. Recommend

  • hamza khan
    May 21, 2015 - 8:06PM

    @Indian:

    are you insane you lunatic fanatic maniac? you dont see the difference? the requirement to be muslim for PM is not any different than the US requirement to be judeo christian? the company is different as private sector companies in any civilized country cannot discriminate against a candidate. man, you indians are the most pathetic people in the world. Recommend

  • hamza khan
    May 21, 2015 - 8:12PM

    @anne:

    expect indians to stoop to any mental level to justify every stupid thing happening in their god forsaken rape infested country. Recommend

  • hamza khan
    May 21, 2015 - 8:14PM

    @Timorlane:

    indians worship money, pray to it, have sex with it. its a disgusting country with pathetic low lives as its citizens. Recommend

  • Baloch
    May 21, 2015 - 8:29PM

    The Two-Nation Theory is alive and kicking! Recommend

  • Ali
    May 21, 2015 - 8:32PM

    @Timorlane:
    Excellent ReplyRecommend

  • Sarita Talwai
    May 21, 2015 - 8:39PM

    ET please publish. Every Newspaper and television channel in India has reported this incident as soon as the person concerned made it public on Facebook. The company apologised and suspended the person who was responsible for this discrimination. Two of the victim’s friends ( both Hindus ) were selected by that company but they rejected the offer in solidarity with their Muslim brother. The case has been sent to the very active Minorities Commission and the discriminating company can be charged and punished. All this within 24 hours of the situation made public. Indian democracy is a work in progress but we are getting there. ET please publish. Recommend

  • vivek
    May 21, 2015 - 9:30PM

    @Muhammad Ghayas what you said is like “i don’t claim to be gentle so i am barbaric if you claim then how have you failed at certain occasion, i have every right to question.” Recommend

  • Ram Dargad
    May 22, 2015 - 12:05AM

    This is what I understand from some Pakistani comments:
    ”Since Pakistan is a Islamic country, it has a right to make laws to discriminate against non- Muslims (at least for selecting high posts like PM). However secular India must ensure equal opportunity to Muslims and an incident like this in a private firm created by a biased employee disprove India’s claims”.
    Well, India is struggling to reach that goal of equal opportunity. However, does Pakistan have credentials to criticize India on this?Recommend

  • Innocent Bystander
    May 22, 2015 - 1:06AM

    Sad to read the level of hatred between midnight’s children. I wonder if the English medium of Pakistan are haters like the Urdu medium peasants.Recommend

  • Allah Rukha
    May 22, 2015 - 3:00AM

    For once, I as a Pakistani agree with @indianRecommend

  • Jag Nathan
    May 22, 2015 - 3:47AM

    I am not going to condone the behavior of the errant employer. However, Pakistanis should be the last people complaining about this issue. Is it not correct that non-Muslims are barred from a number of key offices in Pakistan including the office of President, the PM, most key Ministerial positions, Commander of the Armed forces etc. My understanding is even Ahmedis who are a minority sect of Islam are prohibited from holding these offices. Stop preaching to us. We know how to run our country.Recommend

  • Ram Dargad
    May 22, 2015 - 8:19AM

    @Timorlane:
    The Non- Muslims employed in Gulf too face heavy discrimination.
    While Indians employed in Gulf are legal temporary immigrants, India supports more than 10 Million illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, virtually permanent.
    Most Muslim owned private firms in India employ largely Muslims.
    The situation in India is not perfect but far better than in Pakistan as far as religious discrimination is concerned.Recommend

  • Aamir Malik
    May 22, 2015 - 9:23AM

    Zeeshan

    To be honest people are discriminated on basis of religion is very common practice in all over the world now.Leading companies asks your race,ethnic and religion in a separate form stay calm you will get a good job soon have faith on RAB TALLAH.Recommend

  • AAA
    May 22, 2015 - 9:47AM

    The reason is valid but to deny him with such a slogan, clearly displays antagonism.Recommend

  • jamor
    May 22, 2015 - 12:27PM

    @Puskar:
    Any private company can hire anyone based on their qualifications and not their religion.If a company does so and plainly states that they reject the person on religious grounds ,that is open discrimination and is against the law.They can be prosecuted.That is the reason the company was quick to apologize and put the blame on a person from HR.NDTV also reported that the “HR trainee” was working in the company for the past four years.One cannot justify this by comparing discrimination in Pakistan.This happened in India and the Govt should take action.Let me also remind all Pakistanis,that the late Cecil Choudary a decorated pilot of the air force was denied promotions because he was a Christian.Recommend

  • Rakesh
    May 22, 2015 - 12:32PM

    Incredible India! Recommend

  • Muhammad Ghayas
    May 22, 2015 - 3:05PM

    @Ram Dargad:
    I am afraid my friend you don’t understand Pakistan very well. We do not have any discriminatory law in Pakistan that violates the basic rights of Non-Muslims.

    Now let me tell you something about Pakistan.

    Pakistan came into existence on the basis of Two nation theory. What is a two nation theory? simple, Hindo and Muslim can’t live together because we two have a distinctive cultures. They worship Cows we eat Cows meat. The have Millions and Millions of Gods, we worship only one.

    Islam is not only a religious doctrine but also a realistic code of conduct in terms of every day and everything important in life: our history, our laws and our jurisprudence. In all these things, our outlook is not only fundamentally different but also opposed to Hindus. There is nothing in life that links us together. Our names, clothes, food, festivals, and rituals, all are different. Our economic life, our educational ideas, treatment of women, attitude towards animals, and humanitarian considerations, all are very different.

    Thus Pakistan was established because our elders needed a laboratory for Islam where they can practice their Islam freely.
    We are a nation that is driven by it’s religion Islam thus a Non-Muslim ruler can not rule us. But that does not mean at all that Non-Muslims does not have any opportunities here. People of Pakistan live in harmony with their minority brothers and both take care of each other very well.

    I advise you to not pay attention to media propaganda’s about Pakistan and come here to Pakistan and see for yourself you will be in a better position to judge us.

    Thank you for your time!Recommend

  • Muhammad Ghayas
    May 22, 2015 - 3:16PM

    @vivek:
    Bro ! this is where Islam comes into play: “Humans are the finest creature amongst all”.
    Why is that? We can judge, differentiate between good and bad, have knowledge and understand.

    A muslim live his life by good and bad (Not that Non-Muslims does not do).
    So do not compare us with barbarism.

    Second, it is totally at india discretion who they want to employ or not, i have no issue with that at all. But your laws say’s that India is secular so job given on religious bases is kinda of violation your own country laws.

    Pakistan was meant to be a laboratory for Islam and came into existence on the basis of Islam and two nation theory. But that does not mean non-muslims can not live here or get jobs. we have laws in place that gives a certain proportion of jobs to minorities while pvt sector is completely autonomous they can employe anyone.Recommend

  • Gajender
    May 22, 2015 - 3:23PM

    The company Hare Krishna export is started by a Hindu so it’s natural that the owner want to hire Hindus. People want to live and work wih their own kind.

    India is secular because the laws and constitution are secular.
    Indians are NOT secular. Better learn the difference.Recommend

  • harkol
    May 22, 2015 - 5:38PM

    Secular: an ideology where the ‘state’ (govt.) doesn’t consider religion in matters of policy making.

    This doesn’t mean in private sphere people can’t prefer who they choose to work with or live with!!

    India is a secular nation because it’s laws don’t negatively discriminate on the basis of religion.Recommend

  • NYC
    May 22, 2015 - 11:32PM

    Hahahaha, look at all the Indians defending this. How utterly pathetic.Recommend

  • someone
    May 23, 2015 - 12:54AM

    So far I have not heard about any Pakistani company offering job to that fella. Seems Pakistanis are just as good as spoken words. Lets see if Pakistanis commenting here, has anything to offer to that guy. Recommend

  • Luciferous
    May 23, 2015 - 5:21AM

    @Indian: “some companies won’t hire muslims in india.”

    Ironic it is, but you are an honest bigot!Recommend

  • Saif
    May 23, 2015 - 11:09AM

    @…:
    right ..read it fully ..hindus refused to join that company in protest of that ..that is called secularism ..even Human Resource employee who shot the letter got suspended ..that is called great secular country !Recommend

  • Saif
    May 23, 2015 - 11:10AM

    @Thinker:
    right ..read it fully ..hindus refused to join that company in protest of that ..that is called secularism ..even Human Resource employee who shot the letter got suspended ..that is called great secular country !Recommend

  • Saif
    May 23, 2015 - 11:10AM

    @faizan:
    right ..read it fully ..hindus refused to join that company in protest of that ..that is called secularism ..even Human Resource employee who shot the letter got suspended ..that is called great secular country !Recommend

  • Ruqaiya
    May 23, 2015 - 12:08PM

    @Indian:
    BIG DIFFERENCE between a country leader and a job. I know many Hindu and Christian doctors in Pakistan, among other high profile professions, and I am very proud of them :) And everyone knows why the law exists. When 97% of the population follows one religion, even if a minority person competed he would not win. And more importantly, we are NOT a secular nation. It is ISLAMIC republic of Pakistan. We are not like Indians; promoting secularism and then not following it in day to day life. Pakistan was created so Muslims could find their shelter, minorities will always be welcome, and its unfortunate if some elements feel otherwise, they are our brethren but let there be no confusion as to why this country was made and what is the basis of its existence and aim.Recommend

  • neat
    May 23, 2015 - 1:35PM

    Now thats why Pakistan was created…Indians are racist by religionRecommend

  • Third Umpire
    May 23, 2015 - 3:36PM

    @Indian: Your comment does not make sense. There is a world of difference between becoming a PM and a small job in a private company.Recommend

  • Latin
    May 23, 2015 - 4:43PM

    The illusion of ‘secular liberal democracy’. There is no such thing! Minorities are subjected to same behavior throughout the world. Be it India, Pakistan, US, France, etc. The truth is ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’Recommend

  • Ram Dargad
    May 23, 2015 - 6:12PM

    @Muhammad Ghayas:
    (Resubmitting this reply as Tribune did not publish it)
    My comment is a response to those Pakistanis who belittle India’s struggle to practice secularism in a vitiated south Asian environment. India’s laws cannot change the mindset of all its citizens but still help.
    ‘ We do not have any discriminatory law in Pakistan that violates the basic rights of Non-Muslims.’ To us in India, every citizen has a basic right to aspire to any position – including PM or President of the country. Data speaks truth. See Wikipedia to find how the percentage of Minorities has changed in last 50 years in India, Pakistan & Bangladesh (East Pak).
    ”Thus Pakistan was established because our elders needed a laboratory for Islam where they can practice their Islam freely.” If this was an laboratory experiment, what is the outcome? Two nation theory could not hold back east Pakistan. Indian Bengalis have more in common with Bangladeshis than with Indian Punjabis or South Indians.
    I know Pakistan have very sensible people whom I admire- Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, Tahir Mehdi, Najam Sethi, Hussain Haqqani & many others. I also know about many India-hater fanatics who are treated like heroes in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ghayas
    May 24, 2015 - 11:04AM

    @Ram Dargad:
    Well, you have just picked up all the traitors from Pakistan. Pervez is against Pakistan nuclear nukes so everyone hate him. Haqqani is banned from entering Pakistan since memo gate scandal. Najam Sethi has a long history of fighting against Pak Army and criticizing them. All are considered traitors here.

    As per your argument is concerned here’s the answer.
    I have not criticized the company or India for not giving the guy job. I just answered your comments that why a non-muslim cannot become PM in Pak.

    Second, if we have not achieved the objectives of Pakistan it does not mean we have failed or stopped. We are in progress.
    By the way a recent survey should that 98% Pakistani said religion is the most important. Which kinda of reflect the thinking and approach. Hopefully, one day.
    Peace !Recommend

  • A Peshawary
    May 24, 2015 - 12:37PM

    @Indian:
    How can one justify such act on any pretext? Unimaginable; yet being said and recommended by religious fanatics.

    A Peshawary Recommend

  • Ram Dargad
    May 26, 2015 - 11:00AM

    @Muhammad Ghayas:
    I tried posting my reply to your last comment addressed to me – twice- but ET did not publish it, yet. I do not know the reason. I do not use offensive language. I believe in healthy debate.Recommend

  • RespectPk
    May 27, 2015 - 6:55PM

    @Indian:
    First of all, Prime Minister is a different thing, Zeeshan just applied for an MBA’s job. Secondly, if it were the policy, why did they refused and “suspended the HR trainee” later?
    Have a nice day!Recommend

  • Puskar
    May 29, 2015 - 9:38PM

    @jamor:
    Not true at all. I again repeat that private firms can hire anyone they want. If an owner of a private firm feels that a person is suited for the job, he/she can/will be hired. Educational qualifications may be important, but suitability is more important. If I am running a business and feel that a person with slightly less educational qualifications (than what is required) is suited for the job and can make me money, I will hire him. Also, the example you gave of Pakistan Air Force (government entity) cannot be compared to a private firm/company (as is the case here).Recommend

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