New Delhi: Cricket personalities Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli has been facing wrath of the Indian netizens over the sportsmen's counter tweet to the international pop sensation Rihanna who drew global attention to the ongoing farmers protest in India.
Rihanna on Tuesday night posted a news link on India's farmers' protest and tweeted, "why aren't we talking about this?!" It triggered widespread support from other international celebrities who questioned the Indian government sinister actions which included banning internet and denying drinking water to the protesters.
"India's sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants. Indians know India and should decide for India. Let's remain united as a nation. #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda," tweeted Tendulkar.
"Let us all stay united in this hour of disagreements. Farmers are an integral part of our country and I'm sure an amicable solution will be found between all parties to bring about peace and move forward together. #IndiaTogether," said current India skipper Kohli.
However, the tweets have not gone down well with majority of the social media users.
One user was saying: To score 34347 international runs without a spine is no mean feat.
ABC News journalist Siobhan Heanue alleged that Sachin was "parroting lines telling foreigners to butt out".
Another tweet said: This wicket often fell cheaply in important matches. What consistency!
The Indian celebrities had tweeted with a common hashtag earlier, when Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance launched Jio internet services, another twitter handle said.
Some also wondered where were these sportsmen when farmers were protesting on roads of Delhi sleeping in cold weather.
Apart from Rihanna, Lebanese-American former adult star Mia Khalifa and environmental activist Greta Thunberg had also expressed their concern for the protesting farmers in India.
In response, the Indian government described them as part of "vested interest groups" and their support as "sensationalist social media hashtags and comments" which are "neither accurate nor responsible."
The Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement saying: "Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken. The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible," the statement said.
The Parliament of India, after a full debate and discussion, passed reformist legislation relating to the agricultural sector, the government explained. "These reforms give expanded market access and provided greater flexibility to farmers. They also pave the way for economically and ecologically sustainable farming."
However, it is a well-known fact that the government itself has no record of consulting stakeholders before framing the laws.
The laws were quickly passed in the Lok Sabha, with minimal discussion, and taken to Rajya Sabha, the Upper House.
The BJP not having a simple majority in the Rajya Sabha, and the Opposition calling for every vote to be counted, the Speaker passed the laws using a "voice vote" – adjudicating that one side had shouted louder than the other. In other words, the laws were passed without actually counting to see if they had sufficient votes.
The government said that a very small section of farmers in parts of India has some reservations about these reforms.
However, it has barricaded the roads between the neighbouring states fearing an outflow of the protesting farmers into the capital.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted contentious farm laws.
The laws, however, have been put on hold by the Supreme Court which had appointed a committee, who already had favoured the laws, to hear the stakeholders and to frame an opinion.