New Delhi: ‘The Centre should not have put reputation of Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar at stake by asking them to tweet in support of its stand’, said Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray. Notably, Thackeray was speaking about the ongoing controversy that erupted after the Master Blaster joined the bandwagon of actors, sportspersons, and politicians tweeting on the country’s unity and farmers following international pop singer Rihanna’s tweet. Also Read - Dadasaheb Phalke Awards: Sushant Singh Rajput Honoured With Critic's Best Actor For His Contribution To Hindi Cinema
“Govt shouldn’t have asked big personalities like Sachin Tendulkar & Lata Mangeshkar to tweet in support of its stand and put their reputation at stake. They’re recipients of Bharat Ratna. Actors like Akshay Kumar were enough for this task”, said Thackeray. Also Read - Police Deployed Outside Amitabh Bachchan's House After Congress Leader's 'Black Flag' Call
He also trained his guns on PM Modi saying that the latter’s slogan in support of former US President Donald Trump was ‘problematic’.
“If American Rihanna and others supporting the agitation against new agriculture laws was interference in India’s internal matters, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan in support of Donald Trump too was problematic”, asserted Thackeray.
Celebrities Identical Unity Tweets
A number of celebrities including Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, actors Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn, and iconic singer Lata Mangeshkar rallied around the government on social media using hashtags #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda following tweets by Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg backing farmers.
“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,” the actors and cricketers tweeted, with the hashtags #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda.
Bollywood actors and former cricketers reacted after the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) released a statement wherein it stated that notable personalities should refrain from reacting on this issue and rather get “proper understanding of the issues”.
Sharad Pawar’s Advice to Sachin
NCP president Sharad Pawar on Saturday said cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar should be more careful while speaking on farmers’ issues.
“Many people have reacted sharply to the stand taken by them (Indian celebrities). I would advise Sachin (Tendulkar) to exercise caution while speaking about any other field,” said NCP chief Sharad Pawar while interacting with reporters.
Rihanna, Greta Thunberg, and Mia Khalifa Tweet in Favour of Farmers
Pop star Rihanna, the fourth most followed celebrity on Twitter with over 100 million followers, last week took to the microblogging site to share a CNN news article headlined, “India cuts internet around New Delhi as protesting farmers clash with police.”
“Why aren’t we talking about this? #FarmersProtest,” Rihanna wrote on Feb 2.
Post her tweet, Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, Meena Harris, an American lawyer and niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, actors Amanda Cerni, singers Jay Sean, Dr Zeus and former adult star Mia Khalifa voiced their support to the protesting farmers.