Siddharth Saina-1641886994440
South Indian actor Siddharth and badminton star Saina Nehwal Image Credit: IANS

South Indian actor Siddharth has come under fire for his seemingly sexist tweet slamming badminton player Saina Nehwal, who expressed her concern over a recent protocol breach involving Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Since his tweet on January 10, the National Commission For Women in India has condemned Siddharth and demanded that his Twitter account be suspended.

Trouble brewed when Nehwal tweeted concern over a recent incident involving the Indian Prime Minister last week when his convoy was stopped for around 20 minutes on a flyover in Punjab’s Bathinda.

As soon as her tweet was posted, actor Siddharth posted a mocking tweet, while thanking her for playing protector of India. He also added: ‘Shame on you #Rihanna’, alluding to Nehwal’s silence when it came to farmer protests in India and for her selective outrage, which had international celebrities such as the American singer post concern on social media.

His questionable wording was immediately called out by a large section of social media users, and the actor promptly defended his tweet.

“...Nothing disrespectful was intended, said or insinuated. Period,” he wrote.

In an interview with India Today, Nehwal expressed her surprise and disappointment at the actor’s response to her tweet.

“I am not sure what he meant. I used to like him as an actor but this was not nice. He can express himself with better words but I guess it’s Twitter and you remain noticed with such words and comments,” said Nehwal.

Several celebrities including South Indian singer Chinmayi Sripada supported Nehwal and rejected actor Siddharth’s defensive tweet.

“This is really crass Siddharth. You just contributed to what a lot of us women are fighting against,” she tweeted.