Indian men's cricket team captain Virat Kohli managed to start a debate on Twitter this Diwali after he asked a Twitter user to leave the country in a viral video. Kohli's advice to the person to move away from India came after they called him an "over-rated" batsman and compared him with his English and Australian counterparts.
"Okay, I don't think you should live in India then... you should go and live somewhere else, no? Why are you living in our country and loving other countries? I don't mind you not liking me but I don't think you should live in our country and like other things. Get your priorities right," he said in a video that went viral on Diwali.
The video was recorded as part of promotions for the cricketer's new app. Kohli was reacting to mean tweets that had been sent to him—celebrities making pithy remarks about these comments is a popular segment on many international comedy shows.
While Kohli's remarks were criticised by many, it is well known that many right-wingers love this kind of advice. When the entire 'anti-national' controversy was kickstarted in 2016, 'Go to Pakistan' had become a catchphrase of sorts for this section, who would brandish it in reply to any criticism of the BJP government or "Indian traditions". Many 'bhakts' are proponents of giving up anything "foreign" and support sanskar and everything desi.
So when a Kohli parody account tweeted "I am discontinuing my brand endorsement contract with non indian brands with immediate effect. I will now endorse only Indian brands," they lapped it up without even bothering to check that it wasn't really him.
The fake tweet had been retweeted 914 times and liked around 2,400 times at the time of publishing this story. While many Twitter users mocked the cricketer, thinking it was his real account (asking him to endorse Patanjali products was a common theme), many believed the tweet and professed their support.