Actor Siddharth, who has been a strong critic of the Modi regime, is being surfaced with the whirl of outrage over his alleged sexist remarks to Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal. The actor's tweet in reply to Nehwal over her comments on PM Modi's security breach recently had spurred staunch castigations particularly from the women rights activists and after being flooded with fury, the actor has issued an apology to the badminton star, which the latter has now accepted.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cavalcade was grounded on the flyover for twenty minutes after his route was blocked by some protesters in Punjab. The Union Home Ministry has called the incident a major security lapse and directed the Punjab government to table a detailed report. The breach has swiftly got national attention with the ruling BJP blaming the Punjab ruling Congress government. The Badminton star is one of the celebrities who voiced against the security breach.
Saina Nehwal, who joined the BJP in 2020, tweeted that she strongly condemns the cowardly attack on PM Modi by anarchists. While her tweet had torched a fresh round of fury, actor Siddharth had tweeted his reply to the badminton star's remark and said, "Subtle cock champion of the world...Thank God we have protectors of India." His tweet has spurred outrage against him with many claiming that he had insulted Nehwal as his remark has carried a sexist slur. Several women and women rights' bodies had slammed the actor for his comment and urged him to render his apology.
Though the actor had clarified that his tweet was a reference to the English phrase 'cock and bull' and denied the allegations that it carried a sexual discourse, he had been flayed for degrading the champion. As the outrage against him had escalated, Siddharth has finally issued an apology. On Tuesday, he had issued a statement in which he said, "I want to apologise to you (Saina) for my rude joke that I wrote as a response to a tweet of yours, a few days ago."
He further said, "I may disagree with you on many things but even my disappointment or anger when I read your tweet, cannot justify my tone and words. I know I have more grace in me than that. As for the joke...If a joke needs to be explained, then it wasn't a very good joke, to begin with. Sorry about a joke that didn't land. I, however, must insist my wordplay and humour had none of the malicious intent that so many people from all quarters have attributed to it."
"I am a staunch feminist ally and I assure you there was no gender implied in my tweet and certainly no intent to attack you as a woman. I hope we can put this behind us and that you will accept my letter. You will always be my champion", he added. While his apology did little to mitigate the outrage, the Badminton star has on Wednesday said she had accepted Siddharth's apology.
Speaking to a news agency, Saina Nehwal said that she was glad that the actor has apologized and said that such words shouldn't have been used for a woman in the first place. The Badminton star has admitted that she was quite surprised to see her name trending on Twitter before she came to know what had Siddharth written about her. She said, "Good he has apologized. Shouldn't be using these words for a woman. I was surprised to see myself trending on Twitter. I have never interacted with him but all I can say is God bless him."