Deccan Chronicle

Actor Siddharth stoops to a new low

Deccan Chronicle.| Gokul M G

Published on: January 11, 2022 | Updated on: January 11, 2022

Siddharth uses sexually derogatory words against Saina Nehwal's tweet, NCW writes to Maharashtra DGP, demanding FIR filed against him

Saina Nehwal and Siddharth

Saina Nehwal and Siddharth

Even as more and more women around the world are speaking out on issues of importance to society at large, instances are also increasing of women being harassed and shamed because they dare to express views contrary to the political or social ideas of other social media users.

Ace badminton player Saina Nehwal is the latest to be subjected to misogynistic slurs. Tamil actor Siddharth, who claims to be ‘progressive’, nevertheless used sexually derogatory words while re-tweeting Saina’s message expressing concern over PM Modi's security during his recent Punjab visit.

Condemning the alleged security lapse in Punjab, Saina had tweeted, "No nation can claim itself to be safe if the security of its own PM gets compromised. I condemn, in the strongest words possible, the cowardly attack on PM Modi by anarchists. #BharatStandsWithModi #PMModi."

Retweeting this, the actor wrote, "Subtle cock champion of the world... Thank God we have protectors of India. Shame on you #Rihanna", with a sexual play on the word ‘shuttlecock’. Though he did not explain why he retweeted Sania’s message with the caption then, today, the actor pinned a comment on the tweet saying, "COCK & BULL That’s the reference. Reading otherwise is unfair and leading! Nothing disrespectful was intended, said or insinuated. Period."  

Siddharth has been facing flak from many netizens for the tweets, including from people in the film industry.

DC talks to some prominent people about this trend of descending to the use of vile language when opinions differ.  

"It has become a habit for people to use any political issue as a front to degrade and disrespect women. We need to do better than this. It should be obvious by now that with great power comes great responsibility and they shouldn't misuse it. Public figures need to be aware of what they say and the impact of their words; it’s their responsibility," stresses Mandira Bansal, Founder & creative Head of Weaveinindia.

"Celebrities need to be conscious of what they say on social media. Youngsters look up to actors and tend to follow them blindly. The negative influence of social media on teenage users increases with an increase in the use of offensive language in social conversations and posts by celebrities. This could lead to an increase in hate speeches everywhere," says Dr Saranya Jaikumar, Member, State Child Rights Commission.

Reacting to the issue, danseuse and culture catalyst Anita Ratnam posted a strong statement on Twitter. "Unacceptable language from an actor who is misusing his social capital to cast ugly slurs on a woman! Shame on you @Actor_Siddharth your fans should be aghast. #mysoginy," she wrote.
Singer Chinmayi Sriprada added her voice to the protests: "This is really crass, Siddharth. You just contributed to what a lot of us women are fighting against," she tweeted.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women has written to the DGP, Maharashtra, demanding that an FIR be filed against actor Siddharth under IPC Section 354A (sexual harassment) and Section 67 of the IT Act (publishing obscene material) for his tweet directed at Saina Nehwal.

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