Mumbai: In a shocking case of blatant religious discrimination, a Mumbai-based diamond export company rejected the job application of a management graduate for being a Muslim.
The letter received by Zeshan Ali Khan said, “Thanks for your application. We regret to inform you that we hire only non-Muslim candidates,”
After the rejection letter sparked a controversy, the firm regretted the incident and clarified that it was an error on the part of one of its staff and that it never practised religious discrimination.
Having completed his MBA in international business, Khan was searching for a job in a leading export house. He emailed his resume to Hare Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd. on Tuesday for the post of marketing executive but was shocked when he received the response from the firm stating that it hires only "non-Muslim candidates."
"I just completed my final semester exams of MBA last week and like other classmates have been looking for a job. I came across an update regarding a recruitment drive undertaken by leading diamond and jewellery exporter and thought it would be a great start for my career," Khan said.
"I along with my two classmates applied for the job. I forwarded them my resume on 19th May, 2015 at 05:45 PM and exactly 15 minutes later I got a reply from the HR in charge of the firm that my application has been rejected because the company only hires non-Muslims," Khan added.
"At a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting foreign countries and inviting them for investment and pushing ahead the 'Make in India' campaign, the leading export houses are rejecting candidates for their religion," he said.
In its reply to Khan, the company said, "We regret to inform you that we hire only non-Muslim candidates."
Khan later shared his experience on a social networking site, following which he received a 'regret' mail from the company after his post generated sharp reactions.
"As a company, we would like to reiterate that there is an error done by one of the newly joined HR trainees. Company functions without being biased with any caste, religion and gender," a company representative said in a Facebook post.
"It was a blunder and personal mess created by one of our trainees who has no decision making power. We have 61 employees in our office here including one Muslim in the HR team," Hari Krishna Exports Private Ltd said in the mail.
Taking note of the incident, activist Shehzad Poonawalla wrote to the National Commission for Minorities urging it to look into the issue.
In response, Naseem Ahmed, Chairman of the NMC said, "We have received the petition. If there is any truth in this, it is unfortunate. An inquiry shall be conducted," he said.