Mumbai: After drawing a lot of flak on social media for her controversial ‘selfie’ tweet mocking the Indian contingent at the Rio Olympics, Columnist and author Shobhaa De has clarified her post saying that there was no ‘malicious’ intent behind her tweet.
Speaking to ANI here, the famed writer asserted that she was dealing with the backlash on her tweet and had moved past it.
“I don’t want to get into further negativity. There was no malice intended. Sometimes in a 140 characters, your sentiments may not be fully expressed as you would want to be conveyed. If a controversy follows, a person like myself who is in the public space, we have to deal with it with a big smile and look forward and look ahead. I don’t believe in that kind of a drama which a lot of people may be comfortable doing that you say something in a tweet and then because of public pressure, you delete the tweet,” she added.
Further stating that she has put the tweet behind her and taken all the trolling, shaming, hate and abuse that came her way, De hoped that the entire nation would move past the debacle by now.
“The time right now is to really rejoice in the few triumphs that we had, especially the three exceptional women athletes, who have proved over and over again that despite the odds, it’s possible to succeed. It’s an individual achievement of theirs. They have done it without infrastructure being the kind of support that they require was not really available to them. So, hats off to them,” she added.
Emphasising that there have been many positive tweets after her post on the Indian team, which has encouraged all the Indian athletes, De asserted the tweet was not intended in a personal way.
“I have 45 years of media experience behind me.sometimes 140 characters can lead to a misunderstanding. For that misunderstanding, it’s a pity that it has led to a controversy like this. I would also like to tell the trollers that I have ignored them in the past and I will continue to ignore them. Abuse is not criticism.abuse is just abuse,” she added.
Reacting on megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s tweet on her, De said she would pay attention to it.
“As for the rest, I have not read Mr. Sehwag’s tweet, so I can’t comment on it. They are entitled to their opinion because they are also public figures and at the end of it all a person who has said something that may be construed is being not in popular sentiment.not in keeping with what the whole country is saying is something to think about,” she added.
Reiterating her stand that no malice was intended behind her tweet, De said she has been a national level sportsperson herself and she knows how much hard work goes into it.
“I respect athletes because it was because of my athletic and my sports that I even got into college in a sports quota. I hope that ends that,” she added.
Joining Twitter in mocking celebrity writer Shobha De who had said that Indian Olympians at Rio were doing nothing but takes selfies, Amitabh Bachchan earlier on Thursday lauded Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu for assuring India of at least a silver medal in the ongoing Olympics and said that he wanted to take a selfie with the champion.
“Aap “khaali haath” nahein, medal leke wapas aa rahein hain .. aur hum aapke saath ‘selfie’ nikalne chahate hain !! (you have not come back empty handed but with a medal and I want to take a selfie with you),” he said in a series of tweets.
“Never ever underestimate power of female gender ! #PVSindhu you have destroyed so many ‘naysayers’ .. you are the PRIDE of INDIA!,” Bachchan added.
In a veiled yet apparent attack on De, the superstar said that Sindhu had given a crisp response to those who had been ranting against India’s medal run in the Olympics.
“aapne ‘bolne walon’ ki bolti bund kar di .. karm bolta hai aur wo kabhi kabhi ‘kalam’ ko bhi hara deta hai ! BADHAI !! You have silenced the critics. Action speaks louder than words and sometimes they even defeat the pen! Congratulations,” he said in another tweet.
Earlier on the same day, former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag also took a dig at Shobha De, right after wrestler Sakshi Malik won the bronze medal.
His parody account @virendrsehwag tweeted, “#SakshiMalik ke gale me medal kitna “Sobha De” raha hai na”, which absolutely won the Internet over. The tweet went viral on social media with close to 5,000 retweets at the time of writing, and the tweet being hailed as the best response to De ever.
Sehwag himself retweeted the post in his witty manner, “Bilkul , isliye Shobha Na De aise kaam nahi karne chahiye” he tweeted.
De came under national fire after her controversial tweet saying, “Goal of Team India at the Olympics: Rio jao. Selfies lo. Khaali haat wapas aao. What a waste of money and opportunity.