Surfing Twitter on match days can be extremely fun. Not only does it come truly alive but it also becomes the epicentre of trolling. If your team is on the winning end, chances are you won’t spare your opponents the trouble of recalling the defeat by sharing dank memes, gifs and short video clips of the match.
It is on match days when Twitter is concurrently at its best and worst. In some cases, the build-up to the game also adds more value to the narrative especially when celebrities jump on the bandwagon and try trolling the opposition.
Three weeks ago when Pakistan entered the final of the Champions Trophy on 14th June, 2017 after beating England in the semi final, some of the Indian fans went on to claim how India would teach Pakistan a lesson on “Fathers’ Day” (18th June – the day, Final was to be played on) which also pointed out nothing but patriarchy that is still prevalent in both countries. India hadn’t even beaten Bangladesh but they already had their eyes set on beating Pakistan in the final.
Virender Sehwag, former right-handed dashing opening batsman for India, is known to mock the opposition without even realising how hurtful his comments may appear to the fans. He once appeared on a TV show and told a fabricated story of how Sachin Tendulkar tonked Shoaib Akhtar for a six after he had been sledging him the previous over hence giving birth to the infamous ‘Baap baap hota hai’ sledge.
It didn’t end there. Sehwag was so adamant that he started believing a lie which was spread by no one else but him. It was done so much so that the average Indian fans started referring to their Pakistani counterparts as their ‘Beta’. The Indian fans took pride in it, and Pakistani fans felt angry.
“It didn’t end there. Sehwag was so adamant that he started believing a lie which was spread by no one else but him.”
This is what Sehwag, who is followed by 10.7M people on Twitter, had tweeted after Pakistan were beaten comprehensively by India in their opening game in the Champions Trophy on 4th June, 2017.
Look at the number of replies, retweets and likes. It is absolutely shameful for a player of Sehwag’s stature to even think of such filth, let alone sharing it with the public. With the kind of reach Sehwag has, he should look to act more sophisticatedly on the social media since he has a large number of fans in Pakistan as well.
But as it appeared, Sehwag seemed to have had some serious parental issues in the past. Instead of wishing the teams all the best for the final, he came up with this gem which reminded us of how different a cricketing hero can turn out to be when he is off the field.
As if it was not enough, Rishi Kapoor, a veteran Indian actor, took to Twitter and asked the PCB to not to send a Hockey or Kho Kho team again since ‘Baap’ was going to be up against the ‘Beta’ in the final. What a disappointment Rishi Kapoor aka Akbar, the childhood hero of many Pakistani kids, turned out to be.
Of course an average India-Pakistan debate without the Indians mocking Pakistanis’ English-speaking skills is incomplete. Also did the irony die a thousand deaths here or what?
Mr Kapoor even appealed to the Pakistani cricket fans to stop sending terrorists to India. Hold on sir, I’ll ask them to not to blow up a mall next time we bond over tea.
Virender Sehwag and Rishi Kapoor did get a fitting reply when Pakistan thumped India in the final and put an end to the farcical ‘Baap-Beta’ debate. Both of them should, perhaps, have looked to Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper, who was gracious in defeat and accepted the fact that they were outclassed by a team that played better on the day. Or they could have perhaps looked to some of the Bollywood celebrities who took the game as a game and didn’t turn it into a war.
One can only hope that the likes of Rishi Kapoor and Virender Sehwag will quit trash-talking and contribute in a more positive way. And if it is too much for them, well then, keeping mum doesn’t cost a penny. Does it?