Lilly Singh miffed with Indian consulate’s ‘rude behaviour’; Sushma Swaraj steps in | tv | Hindustan Times
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Lilly Singh miffed with Indian consulate’s ‘rude behaviour’; Sushma Swaraj steps in

During a tweetstorm, the Indo-Canadian YouTube celebrity said she did “love India” but the consulate was “literally the worst place on earth.”

tv Updated: Apr 09, 2017 20:08 IST
HT Correspondent
Lily Singh

During a tweetstorm, the Indo-Canadian YouTube celebrity said she did “love India” but the consulate was “literally the worst place on earth.” (Wikimedia Commons)

This time, comedian Lilly Singh was not amused.

As the Indo-Canadian YouTube celebrity went to the Indian Consulate in Toronto for a visa for a book tour in India starting later this month, she was given a three-month business visa, instead of a travel document for a longer term.

Miffed at that, and at “rude behaviour” there, she tweeted a complaint to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Swaraj directed India’s High Commissioner in Ottawa Vikas Swarup to address the matter, while tweeting back to Singh: “Let me see what best can we do for you.”

On Saturday, Swarup, also the celebrated author of Slumdog Millionaire, contacted Singh on Twitter: “Please send me your contact particulars on my official twitter handle. Happy to be of assistance.”

Given the directions from the minister, officials are looking at a longer-term visa for Singh, who has often travelled to India in the past.

In an emailed response, Swarup said the minister “has asked Lilly Singh to contact me. I am waiting for her to do so. We will try our very best to resolve her visa issue.”

While visas to India are usually handled by an outsourcing agency, the 28-year-old Singh visited the consulate in Toronto.

Less than satisfied with the result, she used her considerable social media heft (2.24 million followers on Twitter; over 11 million subscribers on YouTube) to make her point.

First, she tweeted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “For travel to India, the consulate makes acquiring a visa the most difficult task. I hope one day @narendramodi can remedy this. It’s sad.”

During that tweetstorm, she said she did “love India” but the consulate was “literally the worst place on earth.”

Then to Swaraj: “just a kind note to make you aware that the consulate of India in Toronto is extremely difficult and unprofessional.”

In between, she said she received a “lesser visa” with “more documentation than ever before” and that she was told she would get “a one year visa. That was of course when staff wanted a picture though.”

The Indian consulate replied that an “emergency business visa based on your documentation, was issued in about 1 hr,” and asked her to email them about the “specific difficulty”.

Singh, who is among the highest-grossing YouTube stars in the world, will be touring India, covering Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi. Her book has already reached the top spot on the non-fiction bestsellers list in Canada.

Meanwhile, as Indian officials scramble to deal with the visa affair, she may have lived up to the title of that book, How to be a Bawse: A Guide To Conquering Life.