Suresh Raina victim to online attacks after saluting JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar
The nation of India has been divided of late, accompanied with an outbreak of a conflict around national identity. Indian cricketer Suresh Raina got caught in the crossfire, after he lent his support to a speech made by student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar at JNU. Kanhaiya is, at the moment, the centre and face of the left-wing movement that is at loggerheads with the BJP-led right wing faction.
The student leader held forth in his speech on a variety of issues, including capitalism, caste hierarchies, hunger, poverty, which struck a chord with Raina. The Indian cricketer posted on his official social media pages: “#kanhaiya on @ndtv right now... Beauty!!! Can just feel the honesty in every word..Respect himtrue fighter and honest man salute you”.
Raina was most probably not prepared for the storm of opposition that would rain down on him for this statement. Many Indian cricket fans took to social media to say that they could not respect Raina as an Indian cricketer anymore.
Raina was called a communist, a Pakistani, a traitor, an anti-national, all within the space of the next few hours. The online abuse has only accentuated on Sunday.
What is a matter of relief for Raina is that his original Facebook post has got a lot of positive reception as well, with the top fan comment being: “my respect for you has increased. It takes great courage for a celebrity to risk his reputation and say what he feels. Don't bother about pseudo patriots abusing you. More strength to you. Keep making India proud on and off the field.”
#kanhaiya on @ndtv right now... Beauty!!! Can just feel the honesty in every word..Respect himtrue fighter and honest man salute youPosted by ImRaina on Friday, March 4, 2016
The reception that it got:
cricketier Suresh Raina feels antinational Kanhiya is a great ldr is he playing cricket or playing politics throw him out of Indian team— Brig Arun Bajpai (@ArunBajpai) March 6, 2016
@ImRaina we r shame on u. A Kanhaiya gang lover shouldn't be allowed to play for India. Gaddar..— KarTikeY duBey (@kartikey1701) March 6, 2016
Tennis star Martina Navratilova had faced a similar online storm from India when she had spoken out about the charges of sedition levelled against the JNU students. This is, however, the first instance of one of India’s sportspersons being castigated for supporting the leftist movement.