New Delhi: Author Shobhaa De has mocked at the performance of Indian athletes, saying that they had gone to Rio Olympics to take selfies and not to win medals, inviting angry response from top sportspersons, including star shooter Abhinav Bindra.
After three days of action at the Rio Olympics, Indian athletes have still not won a medal with Bindra missing out on a podium finish by a whisker in men's 10m air rifle event on Monday night.
Taking to Twitter, Shobhaa De made fun at the performance of the Indian athletes, saying that they have gone to Rio to take selfies instead of winning medals.
"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," she tweeted last night.
Her comments did not go down well with some of the top athletes, who reacted angrily to her tweet.
Bindra, India's sole individual Olympic gold medallist, responded, saying: "Shobhaa De, that's a tad unfair. You should be proud of your athletes pursuing human excellence against the whole world."
Bindra missed a medal by a whisker as he finished fourth after a third-place shoot-off in men's 10m air rifle. The men's hockey team also suffered a late 1-2 defeat to Germany and women's side thrashed 0-3 by Britain in group stages. Archer Laxmirani Majhi crashed out in the Round of 32 eliminators.
Star women's doubles shuttler Jwala Gutta also hit back angrily.
"maybe things will change when the attitude of people like urself change!!!!???? #Proudindian #proudsportsperson," wrote Jwala on her Twitter handle
Tennis player Somdev Devvarman added: "a little harsh to belittle the hard work put in by our athletes ...don't you think ?."
Former hockey captain Viren Rasquinha asked Shobhaa De to slog it out herself before commenting on the sportspersons.
"Ms. De, kindly run on the hockey pitch for 60 mins & hold a rifle like Abhinav and Gagan. Bit tougher than u think," wrote Rasquinha, who is the CEO of Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) — a foundation looking to help India win Olympic Gold medals.