Mumbai: Novelist Chetan Bhagat came in for flak from netizens on Wednesday after he used the imagery of rape to describe the rupee's free fall.
"The rupee is asking, is there no punishment for my rapists," Bhagat tweeted after rupee touched a new low, inviting barrage of angry reactions from many Twitter users who accused him trivialising the gravity of rape crimes.
"When the Mumbai rape survivor is still recovering in a hospital, using the 'rape joke' was 'insensitive, crass and stupid'," a user wrote. Many users argued that the word "rape" should never be used casually.
"Let's get it straight. Currencies do not get raped," one said.
Bhagat, who has one of the largest followings on Twitter, deleted his tweet but defended it strongly.
"People are flipping out on using word rape as metaphor. Murder is Ok... Oh wait, chance to attack someone, Why miss?" he asked.
"Have people lost perspective totally? Can a word officially have several meanings and contexts? Or is twitter about looking for fight?" another of his tweets read.
However, the heat and controversy generated by the comments was enough to propel Bhagat into one of the top "trends" on the micro-blogging site. And he was not without supporters who defended the rape metaphor in the context of poor state of economy.
Another well known author Shobhaa De used a similar imagery in her tweet.
"Dumb questions: If the UPA government is forced to quit, does the Opposition possess a magic wand to fix the rupee-rape crisis overnight," she wrote.
Later, after deleting the controversial tweet, Bhagat tried to defend his stand and tweeted the following tweets.