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Democracy of Opinion: ​Why Was Sachin Tendulkar Attacked for Voicing His Views on Farmers' Protest?

File image of Sachin Tendulkar.

File image of Sachin Tendulkar.

Sports personalities from other fields also tweeted but for some reason floodgates have opened against Sachin Tendulkar alone.

An entire cabal has unleashed a most laughable but malicious campaign against Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, all because he tweeted in a civil manner to suggest that Indians stay together to solve internal differences and not fall to motivated external voices on the farmers’ protest.

His tweets were part of a series of tweets made by several Indian cricketers, current and retired. Sports personalities from other fields also tweeted but for some reason floodgates have opened against Sachin Tendulkar alone. He is being projected as weak, timid, unethical because he used his popularity to send a message of solidarity.

This is nothing but the Left-liberal ecosystem's way of telling Tendulkar and all other noted celebrities in India to mind their ways. 'How dare you open your mouth against what we are working on?’

The kind of tweets that came in from Indian cricketers in the aftermath of the American pop star Rihanna's tweets, was unprecedented. It was clearly orchestrated but hardly mindlessly. Each and every tweet was personal and not a cut-copy-paste job being witnessed, as revealed by the ‘toolkit’ Climate activist Greta Thunberg accidently made public.

All tweets were civil, acknowledging that its not a choice of with-or-against-farmers, even if most people have begun to feel that the agitation has lost direction completely and is now only about protest chauvinism to show the government and country badly. Every celebrity tweeted to come together, not fall prey to interests derailing talks or peace and hailed Indian farmers unequivocally.

So why would anyone in their right mind be so agitated about them?

Because for the first time in an 'orchestrated strike', these tweets sought to deflate the campaign against India and the government. And they got more attention than some of the non-Indian names spreading half truths or complete lies about the farmers' protests did.

The vicious attack on Sachin then is signalling you to be careful. If you ever disagree with those waging a war against Indian interests or the present dispensation, you will be put in your place and attacked personally not principally.

It’s a message for all Indian celebrities to watch out. It’s not the first of its kind. It won’t be the last. It’s part of the handbook of those this author likes to call "fake liberals". They cry fascism at the drop of a hat but what is truly fascist is attacking Sachin for one tweet just because he is not supporting you. It is to strike fear in his and others’ minds to never do such a thing again. It would be interesting to see if they do it again. Because the effort is to ensure this doesn't become the new normal.

Athletes or any celebrity for that matter, the ones who are famous for actually doing something, truly value their fan base and as most Indians are quite guarded about their image. After all, your sporting career may end but your fans’ love is eternal. Many of them genuinely think 10 times before they do or say something because they don't want to upset anyone. And in a large country, with every increasing subsets of identities, you can sometimes inadvertently hurt someone. No one for that matter wants to be written negatively about and it is that primal fear that the cabal plays upon. It is essentially an attempt to silence Sachin by discrediting him.

No real case is made out against his tweet itself, the subject of much ire. You don’t need to be a fan to know the attack on him is motivated. Everything from his childhood to his career is being attacked and no one is buying it.

But what it is though is a clever way to divert attention from the fact that many reports suggested Rihanna was paid for her tweet and so could be the case for Greta. So for some, the pop star, who allegedly took money to tweet on the Farmers’ protest, is honourable but Sachin is dishonourable for suggesting an amicable solution to the unrest without abusing anyone. So paid tweets are okay but a benign message of unity is not okay? Ask yourself why and who would have a problem with this? Only those who are part of the design that also paid Rihanna for her tweet or those who benefit from it ultimately.

It is quite possible to not like the fact that Sachin and others tweeted in the first place. If you believe that the government has not done right by the farmers, you will not like it. But you don't have to. Remember that’s what living in a free country means. It is also possible that you feel that celebrities should not enter this debate at all. Like Sharad Pawar quipped, 'Sachin should comment on cricket.'

But then you should have a problem with all non-domain celebrities tweeting. Besides, these attack are coming from those who ask why Indians are being probed for a ‘toolkit’, but then they themselves are frothing in their mouths over a few tweets?

Not to forget, celebrities from all fields are part of a country's soft power. There is a reason Rihanna was allegedly paid for her tweet. She has reach and a whole swathe of young susceptible audience, who for some reason are always looking to be part of a cause whether they understand it or not. After all, why would climate activists be making took kits on farmers agitation when their causes don't even align in the least?

Every country uses its prominent faces to get messages out to the public and the world at large. Politicians get personalities to endorse them. In this light, is it so bad that a government facing international media and activists attacks will leverage the popularity of its own celebrities. Why not a 'Sachin vs Rihanna'? Let the Indian and International public decide who they want to listen to. What’s the problem with a little democracy of opinion?

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