In a bizarre turn of events, a short video message by Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has turned into a massive Twitter tirade against his wife Anushka Sharma and their family. The comments run the gamut from jibes at the duo for not always being environmentally conscious to far more bizarre comments about how their dog is cowardly.
But how did this seemingly endless stream of negative comments originate? Indian skipper Virat Kohli had on Friday extended greetings on the occasion of Diwali, urging people to refrain from bursting crackers. "A very happy Diwali from me to you and your families. May god bless you with peace, prosperity and happiness this Diwali. Please remember do not burst crackers to protect the environment and have fun at home with your loved ones with a simple diya and sweets on this auspicious occasion," he can be heard saying in the clip.
Since then Kohli and Sharma have become trending topics on Twitter, and there have even been counter-trends in his support.
Recent directives that had seen many states put up a partial or complete ban on the sale and use of crackers has already left many smarting at what they see as being an attack on their traditions and culture. Soon after Kohli's message, many outraged social media users lambasted the cricketer for being "Hinduphobic", even as others urged him to take a look at his own lifestyle.
Now, a day later, the trolls continue to attack, having shifted their primary focus to his wife. Some brought up the cars that the duo owned, and the private jet they had been spotted travelling in, wondering why they had not been quite so environmentally conscious at the time. Others, oddly enough trolled and reprimanded Anushka for Kohli's comments, even as a third segment contented themselves with far more generic potshots at the actor. From questioning their charitable contributions to the messages given in Sharma's films - nothing is would seem is to be left out. Others still shared videos and photos of themselves bursting crackers, convinced that they had shown Kohi and Sharma up.
The attacks against their dog perhaps is even more bizarre. "This Dogs is fearless and he likes the fireworks. He is not coward like Anushka's dog," read dozens of identical posts that shared a video clip of a dog standing near an exploding cracker. And while there are of course exceptions, this author can attest to the fact that a large number of dogs are indeed scared of firecrackers and the loud sounds that it can make. There are also those who have attempted to take a strange dig at Kohli with their comments about dogs. These comments become particularly insensitive when one considers the fact that Sharma and Kohli’s pet dog, Bruno passed away in May this year.
Take a look at some of the comments: