As the nation gave an emotional farewell to legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, visuals of actor Shah Rukh Khan saying a dua at the cremation ground won hearts on social media, and also triggered a controversy.
Visuals from the cremation ceremony at Shivaji Park in Mumbai show Mr Khan and his manager Pooja Dadlani paying their last respects to the singer. A photograph of Mr Khan with his hands raised in dua and of Ms Dadlani with her hands joined in a pranaam went viral on social media, with most people appreciating how the frame beautifully captured India's diversity.
Ishwar Allah tere naam,⁰sabko sanmati de bhagwan— Rana Safvi رعنا राना (@iamrana) February 6, 2022
From politicians to authors to student leaders, people from diverse spheres appreciated the warm gesture by the superstar.
No hate can conquer this....— Aishe (ঐশী) (@aishe_ghosh) February 6, 2022
एक दुआ हिंदुस्तानियत के नाम!#ShahRukhKhanpic.twitter.com/fe22YvdjCA— Lalitesh Pati Tripathi (@LaliteshPati) February 7, 2022
A tweet by a Haryana BJP leader, however, stoked up a controversy.
Arun Yadav, whose Twitter handle says he is the state in-charge of Haryana BJP's IT cell, shared a short clip that shows Mr Khan saying the dua, removing his mask and blowing air.
"Did he spit?" Mr Yadav asked in a Twitter post, setting off a targeted social media attack against the actor, with many accusing Mr Khan of disrespecting the legendary singer at her funeral.
क्या इसने थूका है ❓ pic.twitter.com/RZOa2NVM5I— Arun Yadav (@beingarun28) February 6, 2022
The BJP leader faced a major backlash on social media as people started pointing out that the blowing of air after a dua is to "ward off evil spirits" and accused him of of triggering a controversy out of a beautiful moment.
Congress leader Supriya Shrinate was among those who hit out at Arun Yadav, accusing him of spreading hatred.
You aren't just a bigot but pure evil to twist a dua said in reverence of the departed soul to spread hatred.— Supriya Shrinate (@SupriyaShrinate) February 6, 2022
Think about it people, will we let the evil win?#LataMangeshkar#ShahRukhKhan
Chandra Kumar Bose, a sidelined BJP leader and grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, tweeted that this is India's culture that "bigots cannot digest".
#ShahRukhKhan at #LataMangeshkar 's funeral offering prayers! This is the real heritage & culture of India. Certain religious bigots cannot digest it! pic.twitter.com/75B4w0GY3A— Chandra Kumar Bose (@Chandrakbose) February 7, 2022
Following the blowback, the BJP leader today tweeted that he had "just asked a question" and that "opponents did not appreciate his work in national interest".
कल सोशल मीडिया पर शाहरुख खान की एक वीडियो वायरल हो रही थी,मैंने सिर्फ पता लगाने कि कोशिश की और प्रशन पूछा कि सच्चाई क्या है ❓— Arun Yadav (@beingarun28) February 7, 2022
प्रश्न करने पर जो रिएक्शन आये उससे लगता है कि मेरा देशहित में काम करना मोदी और योगी विरोधियों को अच्छा नही लग रहा ????