Hardik Pandya, who has recovered from the controversy over his infamous utterances on chat show 'Koffee with Karan' is now being seen as a victim of online trolling. After television actress Krystle D'Souza shared a photograph of herself with the Baroda cricketer on Instagram, one user responded by writing, "Kaalu bhai, aap West indies team ke World Cup squad main select kyun nahi huye?"
Who said what?
This invited an angry response from the actress and other users of Instagram who criticised the person – carrying the handle name Sameer_3101. One of the first to raise objections was another TV personality, actor Aparshakti Khurana. He responded directly to the man who posted the controversial comment and said: "Hi Sameer. I think you should not write such comments and definitely not use such language. We all love Hardik because he is a performer. You should rather encourage the Indian team, especially before the World Cup."
Soon, D'Souza also entered the conversation by reacting to Khurana's comment. "That's so well put! People are so mean and obnoxious and just because they are sitting behind a screen typing, they think they can get away with anything! I guess ignorance is bliss in this case! Their words make no difference to his superb performance. But thank you," the lady wrote.
Hardik's own 'coloured' past
The ironic thing is that Hardik himself had made a controversial comment about his skin complexion. In his infamous chat with Karan Johar, the all-rounder had described himself as being "a little from the black side" and cited that as the reason for needing to "see how they (women) move."
This comment was most certainly of a racist nature as it was putting a negative stereotype on people of a certain skin colour. Though, Hardik may have thought it to be a compliment at the time. So, it would be quite hypocritical to now see him as a victim of 'racism.' Besides, we cannot be certain that the supposedly "mean and obnoxious" user was trying to be critical.
However, the debate over whether Indians are racist would continue and may be fuelled even further by this comment. There will be people who will present the comments by the Instagram user as another example of Indians' deep-seated prejudice against people of darker complexion. The only problem with that supposition is that Hardik, far from being disliked, is one of the most celebrated cricketers in the country. Despite his misdemeanours on 'Koffee with Karan,' he remains a star thanks to his performances in IPL this season. A good World Cup would make him even more popular.