Politicians and journalists from India and Pakistan took to Twitter to lend support to Navjot Singh Sidhu, former Indian cricketer turned political commentator, who drew ire from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian media for hugging Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Qamer Javed Bajwa at Prime Minister Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) member and former senator Sherry Rehman tweeted that it was sad to see Sidhu getting the “third degree” after returning to India. She added, “this would never have happened five years ago. Such hate will be hard to push down into the back of the collective memory. South Asia has become a cauldron of intolerance with India leading the way”.
Sorry to see poor Navjot Sindhu @sherryontopp getting the third degree back in India.This would never have happened 5 years ago. Such hate will be hard to push down into the back of the collective memory. South Asia has become a cauldron of intolerance with India leading the way https://t.co/eRnJSrCNKh
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) August 21, 2018
Indian politician and member of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) Sukhpal Singh Khaira expressed the view that Sidhu had not done anything wrong by hugging Pakistan’s army chief, “It is the way Punjabis meet! I demand opening of corridor to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib. I also demand of opening of Indo-Pak border that’ll immensely boost Punjab’s economy. There’s no ill will between people, it is a fight between the two governments.”
@sherryontopp has done nothing wrong by hugging Pak army chief,its d way Pbi’s meet! I demand opening of corridor to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib.I also demand of opening of Indo-Pak border that’ll immensely boost Pb’s economy. There’s no illwill between ppl its fight between govt’s pic.twitter.com/dFs1yCYAGI
— Sukhpal Singh Khaira (@SukhpalKhaira) August 20, 2018
Indian journalist Shankarsan Thakur tweeted that Sidhu had accepted Imran Khan’s invitation and conducted himself with “grace”. He considered it bizarre the way “knives are being stuck into him at home. What sort of nation have we become?”
NavjotSidhu @sherryontopp accepted the Pak PM @ImranKhanPTI invite with grace, conducted himself with grace in Pakistan, returned with grace; bizarre the way knives are being stuck into him at home. What sort of nation have we become?
— Sankarshan Thakur (@SankarshanT) August 19, 2018
Pakistani journalist and media personality Hamid Mir commented that in accordance with Shiv Sena’s reasoning, Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar are patriots because they rejected Imran Khan’s invitation and Sidhu is a traitor because he accepted it. He urged the party to reconsider its position.
Is it true that @36notout and @therealkapildev rejected the invitation of @ImranKhanPTI because they are Patriots and @sherryontopp accepted because he is a traitor? I think Shev Sena must reconsider its stand https://t.co/rrWOwtBjuv
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) August 21, 2018
Indian researcher and historian Ramachandra Guha tweeted, “Gandhi wrote in the 1920s that when India became independent it would repeal the obnoxious sedition clause in the IPC.” He added that the clause still exists which casts doubts on democratic credentials.
Gandhi wrote in the 1920s that when India became independent it would repeal the obnoxious sedition clause in the IPC. That it still exists shames us and casts doubts on our democratic credentials. https://t.co/oza44Pp1nU
— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) August 21, 2018