Actor Siddharth’s “Sexist” Tweet To Badminton Star Saina Nehwal Sparks Outrage

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Actor Siddharth is drawing severe flak on social media for a tweet he wrote to badminton champion Saina Nehwal in light of the controversy surrounding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security breach in Punjab. Responding to Nehwal, who expressed support with the PM on Twitter, Siddharth made a remark that many netizens are calling “sexist” and “crass.”

“Subtle cock champion of the world… Thank God we have protectors of India,” the Rang De Basanti actor wrote. “Shame on you #Rihanna,” he added, referencing the furore last year when pop icon Rihanna put out a tweet on the farmers’ protests in India, which led to a national controversy. More on that here.

Though Siddharth’s controversial tweet was made on January 6, it only drew a massive reaction from social media four days later on Monday. In a follow-up tweet, the actor claims his statement did not intend to be “disrespectful.”

“COCK & BULL” That’s the reference. Reading otherwise is unfair and leading! Nothing disrespectful was intended, said or insinuated. Period,” he said

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Background To The Tweets

Modi’s visit to poll-bound Punjab hit a major snag on January 5 when his cavalcade was stuck on a flyover for around 20 minutes due to the road reportedly being blocked by protestors. The event Modi was to attend in Ferozepur was called off owing to the security lapse. The Supreme Court heard the matter Monday and has agreed to constitute a high-level committee that will probe the breach.

The incident evoked strong reactions nationally, including from former world no. 1 badminton player Nehwal.

“No nation can claim itself to be safe if the security of its own PM gets compromised. I condemn, in the strongest words possible, the cowardly attack on PM Modi by anarchists,” she wrote in a tweet on January 5.

Nehwal was among several top Indian personalities, including from the film and sporting fraternities, to make a statement against “propaganda” when Rihanna’s farmers’ protest tweet went viral in February 2021.

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What netizens are saying on Siddharth’s tweet

I come from India where @Actor_Siddharth protects women in movie and harasses them in real,” one Twitter user wrote in response to Siddharth’s controversial tweet. “What kind of family grooming and professional desperation drives this guy to sexually harass a world champion sportsperson and a successful TV anchor,” another user wrote.

Singer Chinmayi Sripada too weighed in on the conversation, responding to Siddharth on Twitter. “This is really crass, Siddharth. You just contributed to what a lot of us women are fighting against,” she wrote.