Erupting a controversy, BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia received heavy backlash on social media after slamming former Pakistan cricketer Danish Kaneria on Monday who had called out leftist propaganda portal The Wire journalist Khanum Sherwani. Notably, Danish Kaneria had slammed the "journalist" after the cricketer for her criticism of the behavior of crowds during the ongoing 2023 World Cup.
What had Arfa said?
The controversy began after Arfa Khanum Sherwani took to X on Sunday morning and said she was "embarrassed and ashamed as an Indian".
"Deplorable behaviour of many cricket fans during World Cup matches, makes me feel embarrassed & ashamed as an Indian. This petty, insecure & majoritarian approach towards sports which was meant to bring people together, is symbolic of India Modi-RSS have created in last one decade," the journalist wrote.
What did Danish Kaneria respond?
An hour later, Danish Kaneria responded on X and asked Arfa Khanum Sherwani to "come to Pakistan". "Come to my country Pakistan if you are feeling ashamed to be an Indian. India doesn't need people like you. I am sure many people in India will be happy to sponsor this trip," the former Pakistan cricketer said.
Danish Kaneria trolled by BJP spokesperson
Taking a strong note of Kaneria's post over Sherwani, Gaurav Bhatia took to X and wrote, "Mr Danish Kaneria it would be nice if you could put your house in order first. Arfa criticized our country, wrongly so, but our relationship is not defined by the religion we profess but by the country we love, our Bharat. Even when there is very little in common with her, I decide to stand with a fellow Indian over the common faith we both have. This will surely go a long way to show to every citizen that the bond of love for our country should always be stronger than the bond of religion. Never ever dare to trouble a fellow Indian otherwise you will also be thrown out of the arena like the cricket ball. Jai Hind."
People started trolling Gaurav Bhatia over his tweet against Danish Kaneria.
In less than 10 minutes of his first tweet, Gaurav Bhatia hit out at Sherwani in another post and wrote in Hindi, "There's a saying "Dhobi ka kutta na ghar ka ghat ka".
Nearly 30 minutes later, Kaneria wrote on X, "Mr Gaurav Bhatia, let people decide who will be thrown out of arena. You will not decide my fate. By the way, keep reading replies to this tweet. People are welcoming your support to Arfa Khanum. ??"
Sherwani & Kaneria in war of words
Responding to Kaneria's "come to Pakistan" remark, Arfa Khanum Sherwani alleged the former Pakistan cricketer had "unleashed an online lynch mob" on her.
"Danish Kaneria has unleashed an online lynch mob on me and I am trending on Twitter. Sad to see an intl cricketer celebrated by fans from different religions turning into a communal troll. Rest assured, I'm not leaving my country for Pakistan or any other place in the world," Sherwani reposted to Kaneria's earlier comment.
The row continued as Danish Kaneria responded by saying, "'Lynch' 'mob' 'communal' 'religious' 'troll' 'unleashed'! Don't use these propaganda words for me. Did I talk about communalism in my tweet? No! If you don’t like Pakistan, simply say - 'Danish, I don't like Pakistan'. That's it!"
Sherwani maintained "every word of your tweet was communal".
"Asking an Indian Muslim to 'go to Pakistan' is as communal and majoritarian as asking a Pakistani Hindu to convert to Islam. It is telling the minority people that you don't belong here or not until you convert to majority religion Got it?," the journalist wrote.
"I am not talking about conversion, majoritarianism, Hindus, Indian Muslims or religion. I am simply talking about your 'loyalty'. Got it? Let's end the debate with a single answer — "Just show me a single tweet in which you praised Bharat and its culture." the former Pakistan cricketer wrote in response.