Mumbai: Shooter Abhinav Bindra, who missed an Olympic medal by a miniscule margin, has hit back at author Shobhaa De for mocking Indian Olympians.
The men’s hockey team suffered a late 1-2 defeat to Germany, while the women’s hockey side was thrashed 0-3 by Britain in group stages in a disappointing Monday’s campaign for India at the Rio Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Adding to the disappointment was archer Laxmirani Majhi, who crashed out in the Round of 32 eliminators.
Shobhaa tweeted on Monday night: “Goal of Team India at the Olympics: Rio jao (Go to Rio). Selfies lo (Take selfies). Khaali haat wapas aao (Return empty-handed). What a waste of money and opportunity. Only hope? Dependable Abhinav Bindra. Aim for gold, champion!”
Bindra responded saying: “Shobhaa De, that’s a tad unfair. You should be proud of your athletes persuing human excellence against the whole world.”
Bindra, India’s sole individual Olympic gold medallist, finished fourth in the final of the men’s 10-metre Air Rifle final at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Rio de Janeiro on Monday.
Actress Gul Panag wrote: “Lots of lament about medal tally, but no lament about lack of fitness culture (which builds a sporting nation) Abhinav Bindra, Shobhaa De.”
“Abhinav Bindra, And do so despite of and in spite of there being no infra and institutional support, and no sporting culture.”
Actor Nikhil Dwivedi also didn’t appreciate Shobhaa’s comments.
“Another gem from Shobhaa De. The state has failed our sportsmen. They strive very hard. Don’t mock them,” he tweeted.
Shobhaa De was criticised by more Twitter users.
One wrote: “Shobhaa De Don’t behave like Anti-National dog. Always supporting Jihadi and against Hinduism. Shame on your ***king face.”
Other user wrote: “Shobhaa De is that 0.1% germ which even Dettol can’t kill.”