Former India cricketer Virender Sehwag has often received condemnation for batting for the right-wing Hindutva forces for quite some time. Not so long, he was widely condemned for joining the Hindutva gang, who issued rape threats to 20-year-old Gurmehar Kaur, daughter of a Kargir martyr.
The former cricketer is now receiving flak for trying to vilify Indian Muslims while tweeting about what was an act of utter barbarism by goons in Kerala. Reacting to the lynching of a tribal man Madhu, who was killed by a mob in Mukkali, near the Silent Valley National Park of Kerala, Sehwag tweeted, “Madhu stole 1 kg rice. A mob of Ubaid , Hussain and Abdul Kareem lynched the poor tribal man to death. This is a disgrace to a civilised society and I feel ashamed that this happens and kuch farak nahi padta.”
Madhu stole 1 kg rice. A mob of Ubaid , Hussain and Abdul Kareem lynched the poor tribal man to death. This is a disgrace to a civilised society and I feel ashamed that this happens and kuch farak nahi padta. pic.twitter.com/LXSnjY6sF0
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 24, 2018
Many on Twitter were quick to slam the former India cricketer for stooping to a new low. Historian Ramchandra Guha minced no words and even called him a despicable human being. He wrote, “Cherry pick names from a mixed crowd in Kerala; stay shamefully silent on the rash of hate crimes in your own state of Haryana. Once great cricketer, maybe: despicable human being, certainly. If he has an ounce of humanity left, Sehwag would delete his tweet.”
Cherry pick names from a mixed crowd in Kerala; stay shamefully silent on the rash of hate crimes in your own state of Haryana. Once great cricketer, maybe: despicable human being, certainly. If he has an ounce of humanity left, Sehwag would delete his tweet. https://t.co/2eFBLJRBJa
— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) February 24, 2018
A parody account of journalist Vinod Dua asked, “How low will you stoop? Those who killed Madhu weren’t just three Muslims but there were Hindus and Christians too. There were more than 10 people in the mob but you could only see three names. This sycophancy will perhaps secure a BJP ticket for you.”
और कितना नीचे गिरोगे सहवाग ? मधु को मारने वाली भीड़ में सिर्फ ये 3 मुसलमान ही नही थे, बल्कि हिन्दू और ईसाई भी शामिल थे, कुल 10 से ज्यादा लोग थे किंतु आपको सिर्फ 3 ही नाम दिखाई दिये?
शायद इसी चमचागिरी की वजह से आपको भाजपा से टिकट मिलेगाhttps://t.co/AfSLvrHPRA
— Vinod Dua (@_VinodDua) February 24, 2018
Another user Rashid pointed out that Muslims in the state did not wear saffron colour ‘mundu(lungis),’ as some men were seen wearing in the viral visuals.
“The saffron mundu” .. muslims dont wear these mundu in kerala.. and please don’t mix religion in this tragedy 🙁 pic.twitter.com/3OI0qhgduN
— Rashid (@rash5053) February 24, 2018
Another user Om Prakash Chaudhary too warned Sehwag to not spread lies. He wrote, “Full story – It was a mob of more than 10 people. Murali, Manu and Mathachan are the names of some of the others in the mob. But thanks for posting this. Your dog-whistling has been duly noted and I hope you get rewarded for it. And please don’t spread lies.”
Full story – It was a mob of more than 10 people. Murali, Manu and Mathachan are the names of some of the others in the mob. But thanks for posting this. Your dog-whistling has been duly noted and I hope you get rewarded for it.
And please don’t spread lies.
— omprakash chaudhary (@MatwaOmprakash) February 24, 2018
Janta Ka Reporter spoke to TK Subramanian, DySP in Pallakad district, who informed us that the cops had arrested all 16 people, accused of committing this heinous crime. Names of those arrested for murdering Madhu are Husain, Marakkar, Shamsuddin, Anish, Radha Krishnan, Abubakar, Siddique, Ubaid, Najeeb, Jaiju Mon, Abdul Kareem, Sanjeev, Satish, Harish, Biju and Munir. It’s clear that at least seven out of 16 arrested are not Muslims. It’s in this context that Sehwag’s tweet is being viewed as the most explicit example yet of his hatred for Muslims.
Minutes after our report went viral, Sehwag issued an apology admitting his mistake. He wrote, “Non acceptance of a fault is itself a 2nd fault.I apologise I missed out on more names involved in this crime bcoz of incomplete info & sincerely apologise 4 it but the tweet is not communal at all.Killers r divided by religion but united by a violent mentality. May there b peace.”
Madhu’s murder has sent shock waves across India with condemnation pouring from celebrities and politicians alike. Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday wrote that he was deeply disturbed by the ‘savage and cruel lynching of’ Madhu. His tweet read, “I am deeply disturbed by the savage and cruel lynching of a tribal in Kerala yesterday, captured on camera. We must guard against growing intolerance in our society & speak out in one voice to condemn these acts of mindless violence.”
Actor Mammootty, himself a Muslim, too wrote on Facebook, “Don’t call Madhu an adivasi. I would call him my younger brother. Madhu is either a son or a younger or elder brother. None should call anyone a thief, if he does it to eat, as poverty is the creation of society…Madhu, I am sorry.”
Although vocal on Twitter, Sehwag has curiously remained silent on the terrorist acts of Hindutva militants in the name of cow or the so-called love jihad that have left many more innocent individuals dead. Whilst, the murder of Madhu must shake the collective conscience of every Indian, his attackers did not appear to be driven by any hatred for the victim’s religious belief.
Sehwag’s latest act of bigotry is a shining example of just how he has, yet again, let down millions of people, who once adored him for his extraordinary cricketing skills.