Cases of discrimination against Hindus don’t only stream in from India’s neighbours including Pakistan and Bangladesh — subtle Hinduphobia is in open display right here in India itself.
Actor Sonu Sood today sent out a somewhat unusual Mahashivratri greeting. “Don’t celebrate Mahashivratri by forwarding Lord Shiva’s photos, celebrate it by helping someone,” he tweeted.
It was a very strange tweet — forwarding a photo greeting takes all of a few seconds, and Sonu Sood seemd to imply that people could either be selfish and forward photos on Mahashivratri, or be nice and help other people. This immediately sparked off a reaction online. Some people compared Sonu Sood’s wish on Mahashivratri with his wishes on other festivals.
On Eid, Sonu Sood had himself shared a photo saying Eid Mubarak, and had not asked people to not forward images.
In fact, Sonu Sood has been himself forwarding images for Eid every year, the same practice he’d criticized on Mahashivratri.
And it’s not just Mahashivratri — Sonu Sood seems to appeal to people to not celebrate other Hindu festivals too. On Diwali, he’d asked people to not burst crackers and instead help other people.
As these tweets began going viral, netizens began calling out his hypocrisy.
Other people said that it was their choice, and asked him not to interfere in their religious beliefs. “Are you mad Sonu Sood? Our festival our choice. Don’t interfere,” wrote a Twitter user.
Others seemed to wonder why Sonu Sood only seemed to ask people to not celebrate Hindu festivals. On Christmas, Sonu Sood hadn’t asked people to not give each other presents and instead donate them to the poor, but only wished them Merry Christmas.
Soon Sonu Sood was getting trolled, and #WhoTheHellAreYouSonuSood began trending.
Sonu Sood, of course, isn’t the only Bollywood actor that seems to ask people to not celebrate Hindu festivals. Other celebrities have also raised objections to Hindu festivals — Virat Kohli had recently been criticized for asking people to not burst crackers on Diwali, and several Bollywood stars have asked people to not celebrate Holi because the colours harm animals. But Sonu Sood’s objection to even forwarding Mahashivratri greetings on WhatsApp was new, and is leading to considerable outrage online. These exhortations to not celebrate festivals wouldn’t be taken so poorly if they were made on festivals of other religions too, but with stars picking out only Hindu festivals to show their magnanimity, Indian people seem to be waking up to the fact that there might be a hidden agenda at play.