Former Germany international and Arsenal player Mesut Ozil has wished Indians a ‘Happy Diwali’ on the occasion of the festival of lights being celebrated across India today.
Ozil, a practicing Muslim of Turkish descent, took to Twitter to post a video of himself with a message in English and Hindi. He wrote, “Happy Diwali to all my Indian friends and followers! 🙏🏼 || Meri taraf se Diwali ki hardik shubh kamanaye!”
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) November 7, 2018
Ozil’s use of pure Hindi and the Indian tricolour has touched the hearts of his fans, who reacted positively while applauding his incredible gesture. One user Saurabh wrote, “I have not expected. But thank you very very much for this big brother. Thank you so much and Happy Diwali to you also. God bless you and protect you. Love you Big Brother.” Another fan Kushagra Jain commented, “Ayyye Thanks A Lot & Best Wishes to you too, Captain! ❤️ Don’t eat things off that hamper though. Lol”
Ozil’s Diwali greetings in Hindi while using the Indian national flag is a lesson for Indian players such as Virat Kohli, who have become notorious for spreading hatred amongst communities with their hateful bigotry. Recently, a video of Kohli telling off one of his fans asking him to leave India if he did not like Indian players had gone viral. Earlier, cricketers such as Virendra Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir had courted controversies with their hate agenda.
Mesut Ozil, arguably the most technically gifted football player of his generation had announced retirement in July this year, stating his discomfort in representing the Gemran national team because of racism. In a three page letter, posted on social media, Ozil shared his pain and agony of being subjected to racist attacks. Ozil, who was a key member of Germany’s 2014 World Cup winning team, represented Germany in 92 games and has been voted the national team’s player of the year five times since 2011 by fans.