HYDERABAD: The controversy over actor Siddharth’s tweet seems to spiral with each passing day. In the latest development, badminton champion Saina Nehwal’s father Harvir Singh lashed out at the Rang De Basanti star and sought a public apology from him. Speaking to news channels on Tuesday, he said: “My daughter won medals, what did he (Siddharth) do for the country?”
CE spoke to Parupalli Kashyap, who says that he didn’t initially understand what the actor was trying to convey. “When I saw his tweet a couple of days ago, I didn’t even know what he was trying to say. I was caught up with my practice sessions and there’s only so much time that I can give it (the tweet). So, I ignored it and went back to training. Once the tweet started going viral, my friends sent me messages and told me what it meant. That’s when I realised what he was trying to do — making a mockery of my wife with some cheap wordplay. I was disappointed that a man of his stature would resort to using such references. My wife and I decided that we needed to call out this behaviour, and responded to his tweet,” says Kashyap.
All he asks is that Siddharth voices his opinion, to which he has all right to, in a way that is not hurtful to anybody. “There’s always a better way to express dissent. I have nothing against him. I have watched his films and have enjoyed them all. Apart from that, I had no idea about his ideologies and political stance. But, he stepped over the line and needs to be told that it’s unbecoming of a man like him. People do say things to get attention when they have nothing else giving them the attention they seek, but this was not something I thought I’d see coming from Siddharth.”
Expressing displeasure over the actor getting personal with Saina, Kashyap points out that people who hold a place like him in public, have the general responsibility to be kind and mindful of their words. “There are thousands following celebrities on public platforms because they look up to them for inspiration. Their every move is being watched, you can’t just say anything without thinking. When they resort to such behaviour, it sort of gets normalised, which is dangerous. If you don’t like something, let it out, but don’t do it at someone’s expense,” he says, adding that if people want to show their true, brazen, honest selves to fans, it’s always welcome. But, there’s a difference between being rude and honest. “My wife didn’t deserve the mockery dished out to her. Siddharth’s justification was even sillier than his actual tweet. It made no sense and many will back me up on that.”
Saina couldn’t be reached for a comment as she is said to be training for a tournament in Delhi. For the unversed, the controversy took shape last week when Saina, a member of the BJP, expressed concern over the security breach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Punjab visit on January 5. “No nation can claim itself to be safe if the security of its own PM gets compromised. I condemn, in the strongest words possible, the cowardly attack on PM Modi by anarchists,” Saina had posted.
Retweeting her post, Siddharth w rote, “Subtle cock champion of the world... Thank God we have protectors of India. Folded hands. Shame on you Rihanna.” Many, however, thought Siddharth’s choice of words was ‘lewd’, ‘sexist’, ‘disgusting’ and ‘misogynist’. Days later, Saina and her husband joined several others in lashing out at him.