All good things must come to an end, as they say, and why should Alok Nath's 'sanskaari' image be exempt from this rule?
The actor, whose penchant for playing characters who conform to traditional norms made him an Internet phenomenon, did something decidedly un-sanskaari on Sunday night. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the #SelfieWithDaughter campaign, which trended on Twitter on Sunday. While many happily shared selfies of themselves with their respective daughters (including Nath himself), there were some who questioned the campaign. One such person was noted women's rights activist and columnist Kavita Krishnan.
The tweet was a veiled reference to the nearly-two-year-old political scandal dubbed 'Snoopgate', when Modi's close aide Amit Shah (now president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party) allegedly surveilled a woman illegally under the former's orders.
While several agreed with her sentiments, many others were outraged. Ironically for people who accused her of being venomous and unfair, they responded in quite the same manner.
— Harish Shenai (@hash62) June 29, 2015
However, the response to Krishnan's tweet that garnered the most amount of attention was one from Nath himself, who threw both caution and sanskaar to the wind with this tweet.
A screen-shot of Alok Nath's tweet, since the original seems to have been deleted.
The 58-year-old actor has been criticised by many on Twitter for resorting to a response people are calling 'sexist' and classifying as 'hate speech'.
Who would have thought the on-screen graceful @aloknath would be a rabid right-wing misogynist bigot. Thank you twitter.— Baba Manhattani (@BabaGlocal) June 29, 2015
If you're right wing and support women's rights at all, you need to speak up against this misogyny. https://t.co/ySWMNZk5xe— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) June 28, 2015
I for one am shocked, shocked that Alok Nath, being a middle aged Indian 'sanskari uncle', has little respect for women and dissent.— Bhavya Khanna (@bhavyakhanna) June 29, 2015
It wasn't all hate, though. Some people, presumably incensed by Krishnan's irreverence towards the Prime Minister, stood by his side.
He just said what a LOT of people wanted to say after seeing THAT tweet of hers. https://t.co/9Usb2U19xq— Aditya (@forwardshortleg) June 28, 2015
Some, weirdly enough, were angry with him for diverting public anger away from its 'rightful' recipient, Krishnan.
I hate Alok Nath for this. Jackass. https://t.co/pHLWs2I6bc— Ankur Bhardwaj (@Bhayankur) June 29, 2015
Meanwhile, at least one Twitter user expressed regret that the PM's campaign, meant to promote gender equality, had been reduced to a two-person online battle.
Kavita Krishna vs Alok Nath has hijacked such a sweet selfie with daughter moment of twitter— Ra Ch Na (@raggedtag) June 29, 2015
However, the irony, as this user pointed out, lay largely in the manner in which people expressed their disapproval of Krishnan's tweet.
The vitriolic and personal attacks on @kavita_krishnan by men and women alike shows the emptiness of social media gender equality campaigns.— Rohin Dharmakumar (@r0h1n) June 29, 2015