On Monday, the National Commission for Women (NCW) strongly condemned a tweet with a “lewd comment” from actor Siddharth, in his response to sportsperson and ace badminton player Saina Nehwal’s tweet, on a recent security breach faced by Prime Minister Modi in Punjab.
NCW also said that it has written to the India wing of the social media platform, asking to block the actor’s account and take action against him, for his sexually coloured comment. This was released, after NCW India’s chairperson Rekha Sharma called out the actor by tweeting, “This man needs a lesson or two. @TwitterIndia why this person’s account still exists?..taking it up with Concerned police.”
It all started on Wednesday, when Nehwal, tweeted, “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.” She was referring to a recent incident where Modi’s convoy was blocked on a flyover in Punjab’s Ferozepur, causing a security breach for a brief period of time.
Retweeting Nehwal’s earlier comment, Siddharth, on Thursday, wrote, “Subtle cock champion of the world… Thank God we have protectors of India. Folded hands. Shame on you #Rihanna”. It is to be noted that in February 2021, pop icon Rihanna had tweeted about the Punjab farmers’ protests on farm bills, which triggered global attention on the issue.
Soon after Siddharth’s tweet, many prominent personalities and social media users voiced against the actor’s choice of words and language, which had hints of sexual innuendos. Singer Chinmayi Sripada replied to him, “This is really crass, Siddharth. You just contributed to what a lot of us women are fighting against.”
BJP leader and actor Khushbu criticised the tweet, saying, “Sid you are a friend but definitely wasn’t expecting this from you. It’s very crass. I am sure Uncle n Aunty wouldn’t be proud of you. Don’t get carried with your hatred towards an individual.”
Subsequently, NCW, acknowledging the issue, said that it has written to the Maharashtra police “for investigating & registering FIR in the matter”. Also writing to Twitter India, NCW urged for “blocking the actor’s account & to take appropriate action against him for posting such remarks”.
In its letter, addressed to both Maharashtra and Chennai Police, it said, “The National Commission for Women has come across a Twitter post of an Indian actor named Siddharth using lewd comment on the Twitter post of Ms Saina Nehwal. The comment is misogynist and outrageous to the modesty of a woman amounting to disrespect and insult to the dignity of women on social media platforms.”
Additionally, the letter requested the police to immediately look into the matter, register an FIR, and take stringent actions against people using “indecent language for women on social media”.
While the issue escalated, on Monday afternoon, Siddharth, in a follow-up to his previous tweet, took a chance to clarify his comment. He wrote, “”COCK & BULL” That’s the reference. Reading otherwise is unfair and leading! Nothing disrespectful was intended, said or insinuated. Period.”
Meanwhile, talking to News18, Nehwal said, “Ya I’m not sure what he meant. I used to like him as an actor but this was not nice. He can express himself with better words but I guess it’s Twitter n u remain noticed with such words n comments.”