Mumbai: Author Shobhaa De has been slammed by many for mocking the Indian athletes participating at the Rio Olympics, but she has refused to apologise for her statement.
In an interview to a news channel, the author said: “Yes, of course I stand by it. Players are entitled to an opinion. In fact, I did comment about Abhinav (Bindra) being our sole hope.”
Shobhaa had 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!”
To that, Bindra, who 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, tweeted: “Shobhaa De, that’s a tad unfair. You should be proud of your athletes persuing human excellence against the whole world.”
The author, who was trolled by a slew of Twitter users for her comment, further said: “There is no infrastructure. Corruption has led to this situation and low priority given to sports.”
The men’s hockey team was defeated by Germany, while the women’s hockey side was thrashed by Britain in group stages in a disappointing Monday’s campaign for India at the Rio Games.
Even archer Laxmirani Majhi crashed out in the Round of 32 eliminators.
Composer-musician Vishal Dadlani tweeted: “Indian athletes put in a lifetime of effort (dealing w/near-zero facilities and petty politics) to carry our flag to the #Olympics! Not easy.”