Refusing Tilak: Right-Wingers Selectively Target Muslim Cricketers

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Many Twitteritis pointed out the Hindutva’s hypocrisy. Alt News co-founder and fact checker Mohammed Zubair said that there were others also who refused the tilak – Vikram Rathour and Hari Prasad Mohan – batting coach and video analyst respectively, but no one is talking about them.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Right-wingers have created a storm as a video of two Muslim cricketers — Mohammed Siraj and Umran Malik— refusing to apply tilak on their forehead in a hotel reception in Nagpur surfaced.

Ahead of the four-match Test series against Australia starting on February 9, the video has gone viral with around 842.1K views. It shows the hotel staff welcoming the players along with head coach and former cricketer Rahul Dravid by applying tilak on their foreheads. When Siraj’s turn came, he politely refused. So did Umran Malik.

However, it is said to be an old video as young Indian pacer Umran Malik is not a part of the Indian Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. 

Applying tilak on the forehead is traditionally a Hindu and a Jain custom.

The video has evoked strong reactions from right-wing elements.

Although there are two other people who also refused the tilak, right-wing and Hindutva elements focused entirely on the Muslim cricketers. However, many social media users have come to Siraj and Malik’s defence pointing out that their action does not fall under the category of communalism, media reports said.

Right-wing news channel Sudarshan TV’s editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke tweeted the video with the hashtag ‘jago’ which means wake up. Chavhanke is a known Muslim baiter and he leaves no opportunity to discredit Muslims. 

“Mohammad Siraj and Umran Malik did not get tika applied on their foreheads at the reception. He is a player of the Indian team, not Pakistan. Even after becoming an international cricketer, he is staunch towards his religion. #Jago,” he tweeted.

Arun Yadav, a hard-line Hindutva worker and an ardent fan of Chavhanke, tweeted the video by saying, “Some puncture mark celebrities don’t get vaccinated because they are fanatic about their religion even after reaching that level. But we don’t miss wearing cap and offering sheets.”

However, many Twitteritis pointed out the Hindutva’s hypocrisy. Alt News co-founder and fact checker Mohammed Zubair said that there were others also who refused the tilak – Vikram Rathour and Hari Prasad Mohan – batting coach and video analyst respectively, but no one is talking about them.

“Vikram Rathour & Hari Prasad Mohan didn’t apply tilak too. But @SureshChavhanke & other Right-wing accounts want you to focus Muslim players Umran Malik & Mohammed Siraj,” Zubair tweeted.

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