On Monday, celebrity columnist and socialite, Shobhaa De tweeted that she thinks all the Indian contingent’s only aim at the Olympics in Rio is to ‘take selfies’ and waste the country’s money. Naturally, this did not go well with most people on twitter and she was severely criticised by a majority.
Goal of Team India at the Olympics: Rio jao. Selfies lo. Khaali haat wapas aao. What a waste of money and opportunity.
— Shobhaa De (@DeShobhaa) August 8, 2016
An Indian athlete posing for photoshoot after winning all the Gold Medal at Rio Olympic, Mumbai Airport. (2016) pic.twitter.com/6C7NOk8mIa
— History of India (@RealHistoryPic) August 9, 2016
Former Team India Hockey captain Viren Rasquinha replied:
Ms. De, kindly run on the hockey pitch for 60 mins & hold a rifle like Abhinav and Gagan. Bit tougher than u think https://t.co/XwZFKqZJjn
— Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) August 8, 2016
Subsequently, actors Abhishek Bachchan and Arjun Kapoor criticised the tweet saying representing a country in the Olympics is a huge feat.
Yes, winning is the goal. But representing your country at the Olympics is a HUGE deal too regardless of the results. Proud of r athletes.
— Abhishek Bachchan (@juniorbachchan) August 9, 2016
Arjun Kapoor took a rather personal dig at Ms. De’s insensitive comment :
Everyone has an opinion about our athletes at Rio, wish everyone with an opinion had once tried to even represent their country.#IndiaAtRio
— Arjun Kapoor (@arjunk26) August 9, 2016
Although, the classiest and most fitting reply came from former Gold Medal winner and five time Olympian Abhinav Bindra:
@DeShobhaa that’s a tad unfair. You should be proud of your athletes perusing human excellence against the whole world.
— Abhinav Bindra (@Abhinav_Bindra) August 9, 2016
This came right after he lost out on his chances to win a medal in the 10 metre Air Rifle event, and came in fourth.
Journalist, T S Sudhir wrote a a sarcastic Open Letter to her pointing out the struggles – physical, financial – many of the Indian athletes face in order to make it to the Olympics. The letter argues that rather than feel a sense of pride in this, her making such a baseless judgement is ungracious.
This is not the first time Shobaa De courted controversy for her remarks. In April, she was accused of Body Shaming the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton on her fashion choices during a visit to India. Her opinion column on NDTV said “But a saree needs curves. A saree demands a derriere. Kate has none”. She was slammed for being judgmental and insensitive.
Feature Image Courtesy: Famousauthors.org