Taking a dig at the Centre, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday (February 6) said that the Centre should have not staked the reputations of cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar and singer Lata Mangeshkar by making them tweet in support of the government with regard to the farmers’ protest.
“The matter was something related to the government and not the nation as such,” he said adding, “These are all big personalities and asking them to tweet, and use hashtags…the government should not have staked their reputations,” Thackeray told reporters in Mumbai. He said: “The matter is something related to the government and not the nation. It’s not as if the nation is facing danger from China or Pakistan.”
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Thackeray said the government should have “stuck to folks like Akshay Kumar”, referring to the fact that the Bollywood actor has been known to be pro government . Thackeray then said: “Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar are Bharat Ratnas. They are simple people. The government asked them to tweet, so they did that and now they are being trolled.”
Following American pop star Rihanna’s, former adult star Mia Khalifa’s, and climate activist, Greta Thunberg’s support for the farmers’ protest, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a strongly worded statement in response to Rihanna’s and other international personalities tweets supporting the farmers. Straight after this, Tendulkar tweeted: “India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants. Indians know India and should decide for India. Let’s remain united as a nation. #Indiatogether #IndiaagainstPropaganda.”
Lata Mangeshkar tweeted: “Namaskar…India is a glorious nation and we all Indians stand with our heads held high. As a proud Indian, I have full faith, that any issues or problems that as a country we face; we are fully equipped to resolve them amicably, keeping the interest of our people in mind. Jai Hind.”
Tendulkar and Mangeshkar both received backlash from netizens for tweeting at the behest of the government.
The other personalities who tweeted in favour of the government were cricketer Virat Kohli and badminton player, Saina Nehwal.