With every passing day religious intolerance seems to be on a rise in India, and even more so social media. Where on the one hand we had Deepak Sharma share a video of himself beating up a man for making memes (or maymay, if you please) with religious connotations, we’ve also had instances of Muslim cricketers being attacked for putting up anti-Islamic pictures online.
Last month, former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif found himself at the receiving end of online trolls after putting up a picture of himself and his son playing chess. Kaif, who was trolled even earlier by bigots for posting photos of himself doing Surya Namaskar, was told that playing chess is apparently not Islamic and he had a ‘committed a sin’. Even Indian bowler Mohammed Shami fell prey to such social media trolling after in a picture put up by him his wife was not seen wearing a hijab. England all-rounder Moeen Ali was slammed on social media for making a sketch of Vivian Richards as drawing is apparently ‘against Islam’. And things refuse to look any better.
Now it’s Irfan Pathan who is being roasted for posting a photo of himself on Raksha Bandhan, with a rakhi on his wrist. He posted that image on his Facebook account with the caption, “Happy rakshabandhan everyone #rakhi”. Though the gesture is indeed commendable and endearing, it was not taken well by the bigots on social media. Much like his other fellow cricketers, Pathan was ruthlessly attacked of ‘not being Muslim enough among other things.
Soon after he posted this photo, hate comments saying, “Irfan bhai this was not expected of you”, “…this is sin”, “it’s disgraceful”, etc., were posted. Though there were some who also praised the gesture, saying Raksha Bandhan is about love and unity, which is what he has displayed. Here are some of the reactions.
However there were some who saw some sense and stood by the actor.
However, this is not the first time that the cricketer was trolled for not being ‘Muslim enough’. On July 17, he had put up a picture with his wife and was mercilessly trolled for ‘letting her show her arms and part of face’. He was ridiculed for not being a good Muslim and was almost asked to remove the picture. A comment read, “… Tell her to cover her arms. Being a muslim and being a Pathan its your duty to do so.”