Controversy

In January 2015, self-proclaimed fans of Sachin Tendulkar, thousands of Malayalis in particular, spammed tennis star Maria Sharapova’s Facebook page, with abuses mainly. Their ire was targeted at Maria after she made a remark admitting that she did not know who cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar was. Now, six years later, Malayalis are back on her page, this time with apologies. 

The trigger is Sachin Tendulkar’s tweet on Wednesday night reacting to the international attention on the farmers' protest and internet clampdown in certain parts of India. “India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants. 

Indians know India and should decide for India. Let's remain united as a nation,” Sachin wrote, using two hashtags given by the Union government, #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda.

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Below two recent pictures posted by Maria on Facebook, there were at least 4000 comments, mainly from Malayali men apologising to her. At first glance, these included people with and without party affiliations.

“Dear Maria, we are sorry for the cyber attack against you in the name of Sachin,” said one user.

“That day without maturity I had posted some comments in favor of Sachin and bullied you. I am sorry Maria,” another said.

“Sorry for the attack you faced from my country back in 2014 when you said you didn't know Sachin. Better you didn't know him,” another person said.

One woman user wrote, “Sorry sister, yours truly,” and garnered loads of likes.

Another user extended an olive branch and asked Maria Sharapova to plan a trip to Wayanad and he promised to make all arrangements for a fun stay.

Among the comments, a few who abused Maria last time, abused Sachin this time around. As for the others, let's hope that those who harassed Maria Sharapova in the past have truly evolved (and not just in this one instance) and will not repeat it.

 

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