Over the last two days, social media users have raked cricketer Virat Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma over hot coals, taking umbrage at a Diwali message that had been put out by the cricketer. What began with a short video greeting from the Indian skipper urging people to celebrate Diwali without crackers has since turned into a two day barrage of vitriolic comments that range from personal and professional jibes to allegations of 'Hinduphobia'.
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 duo. The Twitter tirade also made note of celebrations by the duo on their birthday, or events involving fireworks that were organised by the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
It must be mentioned here that with a wide variety of videos being shared and claims made, it is impossible to verify their authenticity. While some appear to have been edited, other users made use of footage posted by individuals and organisations in the past.
The controversy has now prompted the RCB to issue a clarification about some of the footage that is being used by trolls to target the duo. "Hope you are all enjoying a happy and peaceful Diwali with family and friends. To clarify, the fireworks shown in RCB’s recent celebratory video was archival footage of UAE's Flag Day celebrations. RCB continues to work hard to protect the environment like we’ve over the years," the team tweeted.
The reference made here is to a video clip that had been posted by RCB a few days earlier marking the cricketer's birthday celebration in UAE. In the video, the screen shows crackers being burst as Anushka and Virat appear to look on.
In the meantime, many have also been discussing the actions of Kohli's teammate Shivam Dube. The cricketer has made headlines as even as netizens dedicated themselves to trolling Kohli, he posted pictures of himself bursting crackers to mark the occasion.