It's Not Funny, Virender Sehwag. You Too, Randeep Hooda

Published: March 01, 2017 08:17 IST
Tell a lie often enough and it will become the truth. Tell Virendra Sehwag that a couple of his tweets are funny,  he forgets there is a fine line between humour and offence. The joke is on the former opener, because while his double centuries were highly entertaining, his 'bat mein hain dum' tweet is pure crass.

The trick to being a good batsman is timing but obviously, what Viru learnt on the field stayed on the field. When the daughter of a soldier says, 'Pakistan did not kill my dad. War killed him', we give the young lady respect. Unlike a game of cricket, she is talking of an innings that is over, forever. Instead, Sehwag has shown us that an icon may not necessarily be a sensitive being. The former cricketer discovered wit - or at least his version of it - when he took on Piers Morgan, the British journalist who wasn't very kind about India's lack of medals at the Rio Olympics. Sehwag frankly just seized the chest-thumping patriotic moment of 'how-dare-any-firang-point-out-the-obvious-to-us-Indians' and became the new social media sensation. Hilarious he wasn't, even then. Now he is plain sad.

Joining him in what seemed like a school bully adventure sprayed with emoticons, was actor Randeep Hooda, who seems to have overnight lost the voice of reason we applauded during the Jat quota agitation. So, I am going to call it. Cricketers and Bollywood stars are among our most pampered citizens. Such is their mass following that one line of sanity is all it takes to calm many frenzied minds, especially when everything degenerates into a debate on nationalism quicker than Sehwag's ducks. Instead, irresponsibly, these two chose to play... boys will be boys.

Hooda went a step further, betraying a touch of misogyny. A girl spoke with sense and determination, so she must have been guided. Voila! She must be a pawn!

Hooda went a step further, betraying a touch of misogyny. A girl spoke with sense and determination, so she must have been guided. Voila! She must be a pawn!
Gurmehar Kaur, thankfully and unfortunately for Sehwag and Hooda, is no simpering 20-year-old. But she is young enough to believe in fandom. And those she admired - we did too - had feet of clay. The biggest irony though was how the two actually believed they were defusing a situation. Instead, thank you Viru and Randeep, you added fuel like no one else.

Far from condemning the graphic rape and death threats the young student has been getting since accusing the ABVP for the violence at Delhi University's Ramjas College, these two celebrities behaved like flag-waving, slogan shouting nationalists who think watching the movie 'Border' is patriotism and lighting a candle on social media for every jawan is its proof. Also late to the party, but no less sneering, was wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt.    

So, they mock and give unsolicited advice to someone whose father died fighting for their country.

Completing the trinity of the absurd is Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, who once again let words fill in for his work. He was more bothered with 'who is polluting her mind' than what is more obvious, that something is rotten in his country. It's a reflection of how low we have fallen, that healthy criticism be damned, we go straight to violence. And even that isn't as worrying as scoring political brownie points.

Gurmehar is among the few who understand that war has no winners. What she probably underestimated was politics, because today, it feeds on war. So, bravo, let's pat our collective backs, a bunch of ruling politicians and celebrities managed to do what even her father's death didn't, we have silenced her.

Slogans like 'beti padhao, beti bachao' only sound nice on paper. We may as well teach our girls that raising your voice in this country is foolhardy.

Today, Gurmehar Kaur is being called anti-national and an embarrassment to her father. Yes, her father would have been ashamed because the country he gave his life for now compares his brave daughter to Dawood. In the end, what we are is a country of users. We have taken Gurmehar's father's sacrifice and flung it back at her and her family.

The vicious threat is from within our borders. Mr. Virendra Sehwag, none of us have the last laugh.

(Jyotsna Mohan Bhargava worked with NDTV for more than a decade and now writes on a variety of topics for several news organisations.)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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