Actor Randeep Hooda said on Wednesday that he should have been careful with his tweet related to Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur.
The Lady Sri Ram College student, daughter of army martyr Captain Mandeep Singh, had launched a viral social media campaign against Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the BJP’s student wing.
She got caught up in a Twitter war with ex-cricketer Virendra Sehwag and Hooda, who called her a “political pawn”.
When asked to clarify his tweet, Hooda said, “It wasn’t gender specific. I was and I am against politicisation of personal opinions. There was an axe to grind and considering the environment in the country vis-a-vis women, in hindsight, I do believe I should have been more careful.”
Hooda said being an actor, he is often trolled on social media but for Kaur, it must have been traumatic.
“As an actor I have faced this (trolling) before and will have it in future but as a young person to face this would be very traumatic and she shouldn’t have gone through this.”
The actor said he was not aware of any threats which were given to Kaur when he tweeted, which were taken out of context and eventually people started labelling him as a bully.
“I don’t know what the authorities are doing. But by that time the narrative was set. I was labelled, put in a box. I have been labelled before,” he said.
“It wasn’t gender specific. I was and I am against politicisation of personal opinions. There was an axe to grind and considering the environment in the country vis-a-vis women, in hindsight, I do believe I should have been more careful.”
The actor was speaking at the launch of second season of MTV Big F a show which he will be hosting.
Randeep said online trolling had become a huge issue and needed to be addressed soon.
“When I spoke for Sanjay Leela Bhansali, I got trolled. It seems we are not having a conversation. We tend to be abusive. We are trolling people. It is absolutely wrong. You can have a point of view and you can disagree. Whether it is a man or a woman, it is wrong to troll and if it is a woman it is a crime.
“You cannot threaten a woman with violence on social media. That has to be addressed. Social media portal heads in India should look into it very seriously because it is becoming a bigger issue.”
The Highway star said when he re-tweeted a tweet by Sehwag, it was purely because he found it funny and didn’t even know “who the girl was” so he laughed it off.
It was only later that Hooda realised the issue had snowballed into a huge controversy.
“I said do not politicise this poor girl’s point of view. And then those two words were taken: For using ‘poor’, they said you are a misogynist and for using ‘girl’s, they said sexist, and I said, ‘If it were a boy, I would have said the same things.’”
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