The controversy over Sachin Tendulkar’s tweet in response to pop icon Rihanna parroting the government line has escalated as NCP chief Sharad Pawar warned the batting legend to be careful in the future. Meanwhile, speculation is rife about Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun Tendulkar making an IPL debut with Mukesh Ambani-owned Mumbai Indians even though he has played just to T20 matches in his whole life, scoring three runs and claiming two wickets by conceding 67 runs in seven overs.
“I would suggest to Sachin (Tendulkar) that he should be careful while speaking on the issues related to other fields,” Pawar was quoted by news agency PTI. The veteran Maharashtra politician issued a veiled warning to Tendulkar during an interaction with reporters.
Tendulkar had joined several Indian celebrities including Akshay Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Anil Kumble, Saina Nehwal, Ajay Devgan and Karan Johar to tweet identical responses in favour of the Narendra Modi government over the ongoing farmers’ protests. The central theme of their tweets, posted in a coordinated manner, was to warn foreign celebrities to stay away from commenting on the human rights violations concerning India’s farmers.
This was after pop icon Rihanna, climate activist Greta Thunberg, actor Amanda Cerny, former porn star Mia Khalifa and Meena Harris, niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, took to their social media pages to voice their concern over the government crackdown against the protesting farmers.
Indian celebrities had borrowed hashtags used by the Ministry of External Affairs in its unprecedented response to tweets by private citizens of the US and Sweden. While Akshay’s support for the Hindutva party is well known, Tendulkar’s decision to rally behind the government even amidst serious questions of human rights violations of protesting farmers had made him a target of widespread condemnation.
Days later, fans reacted furiously after it emerged that Arjun Tendulkar had been enlisted for this month’s IPL auction with Mukesh Ambani-owned Mumbai Indians expected to buy the son of India’s batting legend. Many had wondered if the young Tendulkar would find himself in contention for an IPL contract if he wasn’t Sachin Tendulkar’s son. Others had linked Tendulkar’s support for the Modi government to son Arjun Tendulkar’s planned IPL debut given that Home Minister Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah occupied the important position of General Secretary in the Indian cricket board, the BCCI.