For most people, festivals are a time for wishes, celebrations and good cheer, but for some celebrities, they’re a time to earn some woke brownie points.
Virat Kohli today sent out a 17-second clip, ostensibly wishing people on Diwali. But most of the clip was more about Kohli’s propaganda than anything to do with the festival. “Please remember, do no burst crackers. Protect the environment,” he sanctimoniously preached.
India’s netizens didn’t take kindly to Virat’s advice — there is ample evidence that firecrackers cause a negligible amount of pollution, and people wondered why Kohli had singled out a Hindu festival for his activism. People started sharing his old posts when he’d been content with a simple wish on festivals of other religions.
People also began exposing his hypocrisy on crackers. Netlizens dug up on old video in which Virat Kohli had been celebrating his own birthday with firecrackers.
It only got worse for Kohli from there. Someone managed to dig out a picture of him setting a cracker on fire after a win in an IPL game.
Others pointed out the hypocrisy of Kohli preaching about crackers on Diwali, when the IPL, the tournament which earns him his bread and butter, uses them regularly.
And Kohli’s assertion to protect the environment was also questioned. “You travel in charter planes on daily basis, even if someone bursts crackers throughout the year everyday, it would be less harmful for the environment compared to what you do. So zip it,” wrote a Twitter user.
People started sharing pictures of Kohli in front of chartered airplanes, which cause more pollution than any Diwali celebration possibly could.
Many users started saying that the will burst crackers, not matter what Virat Kohli said.
Some others went as far as to say that they’d burst extra crackers in Virat Kohli’s name.
This isn’t the first time that celebrities have tried to earn activism brownie points at the expense of Hindu festivals, but people are now wise to their propaganda, and don’t stop at exposing their hypocrisy about their concern for the environment which seems to magically appear once a year. And as tweets by India’s netizens seem to suggest — lighting a cracker in Kohli’s name seemed to be a popular idea — such selective calls targeting a particular festival are only going to ensure that this year’s Diwali is going to be louder and prouder than ever before.